Cauliflower Soup

“A simple soup is one of the best ways to show you care.”

So now that it’s spring I’m starting to think ahead to the days when my favorite farmers’ markets will start to burst with the early treats of the field – greens, carrots, and berries will be the first temptations for me. On a damp and chilly day in late March I was inspired by some spinach and baby kale… and I created a very simple yet very delicious soup that will allow those early greens to shine. Plus later in the season when a rare treat appears – a head of cauliflower! – I can revisit this treat. Most cauliflower/broccoli type soups are cream-based, but I prefer a brothy soup with some chunks of veggie you can bite into. I love how this one turned out.

This didn’t take very long at all to prepare and there are various ways that you can adapt to you and your family’s tastes. I know you’ll enjoy.

In a large pot, fry 2 strips bacon. (*See option below.)

When crispy, remove from pan to drain. Drain extra grease from pot.

Add and saute just until soft:

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped (I used 1 bunch of green onions and added 1/2 a white onion; they were in my fridge.)

2 stalks celery, diced

Add:

32 oz. chicken broth

2 c. milk

2 c. chopped greens – I used spinach and baby kale b/c that’s what I had. 🙂

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 tsp. salt

black pepper

1/8 tsp. (? it was a couple of shakes) crushed red pepper

the bacon you fried, broken up into very small bits

Heat to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover, and allow veggies to cook until tender. Stir occasionally.

**********************

Options:

* I think the bacon adds a nice touch of flavor, but if you don’t have the time, just saute the garlic, etc. in a couple Tbsp. of olive oil and add 2 Tbsp. of bacon bits instead.

* Other add-ins I considered: a potato or two, shredded carrot, baby peas (another spring treat), some corn. If you add, just be sure they don’t overtake the main star = cauliflower!

* I served with some cheese and a favorite old family recipe – mayonnaise muffins. I could not tell you who/how/when/where this recipe came to my family; it’s just something my mom always made. It’s quick and easy and the recipe follows if you’re interested. 🙂

Mayonnaise muffins

Mix:

1 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. milk

3 T. mayonnaise

Prepare 6 muffin tins. Bake at 450 for 15ish min.

(These are great with butter/jam, apple butter, etc.)

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