Caramelized Cauliflower Soup

It’s been a pretty mild Winter up here. No real extreme weather like in other parts of the country. Yes, there were a few weeks of heavy rains and floods a couple of months ago but that was about it. Since then, only a few showers here and there. Gorgeous weather actually. Billowy clouds, brisk mornings that turn into mild afternoons which then turn into nippy nights. And when the nights become especially chilly - I usually make a soup. 

As long as I can remember I’ve been a soup person. Soup and stews are probably on my top list of dishes I love to make and consume. They are easy to whip together, pretty forgiving, nourishing, warming, comforting and sometimes - as with this one, stunning to gaze upon. Gorgeous winter white. 

Roasting the cauliflower and shallots bring out their natural sugars and their caramelization adds a wonderful depth of flavor. I also love the addition of the Japanese sweet potato here as it adds a touch of sweetness and creaminess without the need to add cream (though you still can if you desire.) However,  a regular potato would work well too if that’s all you have on hand. And as I’ve mentioned before, your soup will really only come out as good as the stock you use so keep that in mind. I used my homemade bone broth for this one which added not only flavor but even more nourishing qualities. If you use a store bought kind just make sure you use a low sodium stock that doesn’t have tomato in it. 

    Carmelized Cauliflower Soup 

    • 1 large or 2 medium head of cauliflower, stemmed and cut into florets 
    • 4 large shallots, peeled and halved
    • sea salt
    • freshly milled black pepper
    • 1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 TB unsalted butter or coconut oil
    • a few fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tsp dried thyme
    • 1 small  japanese sweet potato, peeled and cubed
    • 4-5 cups vegetable, chicken or bone broth (homemade is recommended)
    • 1/4 cup coconut, cashew or almond milk or cream (optional)

    Preheat oven 375.

    On a large parchment paper lined baking sheet add the cauliflower florets, shallots, a nice drizzle of olive oil as well as a few sprinkles of sea salt. Mix everything around with your clean hands to coat then spread out evenly about the sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes or until lightly brown. When cool enough, chop up the roasted shallots and set aside a handful or roasted cauliflower florets to add to the soup when finished. 

    In a medium pot, over a medium flame, melt either the butter or coconut oil. Add the roasted shallots, a dash of sea salt, a few sprigs of fresh thyme or a tsp of dried thyme and a few turns of some freshly milled black pepper. Stir around with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Add the sweet potato and the stock. Turn the flame up a bit and bring to a light boil. Then turn flame down to a simmer and add the roasted cauliflower, partly cover pot with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.  Take off the heat and cool a bit before adding to the blender.

    Carefully add the soup to the blender. You may need to do this in stages depending on how large your blender if.  Blend until smooth. Pour soup back into the pot and turn flame on low. Mix in about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt - depending on how salty your stock was. Also if the soup is too thick you can add more stock or water or even a touch of coconut milk or almond milk or straight up cream if desired. Taste. Garnish with the remaining roasted cauliflower florets, a few sprinkles of fresh thyme and flakey sea salt.