We’re entering soup weather! I’m a fan of each stage of this soup: the freshly roasted garlic & cauliflower to start, the garlicky potato blend in the middle, and the brilliant stir-ins at the end. I tossed a few hunks of this morning’s biscuits into my piping hot bowl to make it delectably comforting. I’m a “color eater,” meaning I love to see a rainbow when I eat. That’s why I used red onion and kept the red potato skins on. If you have a different potato or onion in your pantry, use that! Soup-making is all about variety, flexibility, and comfort!
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 head garlic, peeled and separated
1 red onion, diced
2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 lb (about 5 small) red potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled!) and cubed
8 c water
1 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Sea salt & pepper
Bacon crumbles (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange cauliflower and half the head of garlic in a single layer on a cookie sheet and drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with sea salt & black pepper and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. While the cauliflower is roasting, coat the bottom of a large soup pot with olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, a pinch of salt, and the crushed red pepper; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Mince remaining garlic and add to onion with a pinch of salt, sauteing for 1 more minute. Add carrot, celery, potato, and zucchini to the soup pot and toss with the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are lightly softened. Stir in water and crank heat to high, bringing to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes and reduce heat until the soup reaches a soft simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Working in batches, puree 75% of the soup in a blender or food processor and return to the pot. Stir in roasted cauliflower, roasted garlic, shredded cheddar, and bacon crumbles (if using). Season with additional salt and heat soup on low if necessary. Serve immediately.