Wow, October is officially donzo! I can’t say I am sad about that, I love Halloween but the lead up, execution, and clean up tend to be exhaustive. I think I figured out the rub with the holidays….especially the three month gauntlet we Americanos love to prioritize….its the expectations. Whether it be from the kids, extended family, or friends, it is inevitable that failure will occur within one of those facets. With age comes social intelligence (well it should at least, I know a few special exceptions..ugh), and with social intelligence comes self preservation. “Pick your battles” is finally a concept I utilize now, and realizing that I feel that my priorities are more substantial, people that cause you drama are doing it for themselves….don’t fall victim to it! All we have is our time, use it to do things you love, we inevitably end up in the same humble position so choose your poison wisely and drink it in small doses.Well now that, that last nail has sealed the coffin, I made soup!!! It’s not your brothy, diet friendly, soup….it’s cheesy, veggie laden, goodness, with the addition of bacon! Which you can leave out if you do not partake…it is delicious either way. I always feel accomplished when I make dinner and no one gripes…or talks whilst munching…and this soup pleased the whole brigade even the 9 year old who is by far my toughest critic.
First thing is first you need to rally your ingredients:
8 slices of bacon cooked, fat drained except two T. left in the cooking vessel, we will use this pan again so just leave it on the damn stove.
2 pounds cauliflower florets, 1/2 of which you need to slice and place on a baking sheet that has been greased, I used some of the bacon fat, you can use oil or pam spray…but honestly the bacon fat works muy bueno. Season the oiled florets with salt and pepper and bake in a preheated 425 degree pan for 10 minutes flip, and cook another 5 or so, they should be golden, and tender but not mushy.
12 oz can evaporated milk, can you use cream or half and half? Sure, I didn’t have any so I used evaporated milk, great to have a few cans in the pantry when your refrigerated dairy collection is slim.
3 cups vegetable stock.
2 ribs of celery, diced small.
1 carrot, peeled and diced small.
1 medium yellow onion, you guessed it….diced small
2 cups sharp white cheddar, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt or to your taste
2 Tbsp flour
Now using that pan you left on the stove, turn the heat to medium and add your mire poix (fancy French way to say carrots, celery, and onion) to the pan, there will brown bits on the bottom of the pan, this is a good thing and will attach to your vegetables and add depth. Sweat them veg, for about ten minutes, then add flour, and stir for 3 minutes, you are cooking the flour the same way as making a roux, the vegetables were just invited to the party as well. Add un-roasted cauliflower,stock and salt, stir until thick and bubbly, add evaporated milk. Simmer for 10 minutes, add cheese and roasted cauliflower, reserving several of the best looking florets to use for garnish. Blend with a stick blender for even creamier texture, serve hot and top with crispy bacon, parsley, or green onions.
Happy stressy turkey cooking month!!!