Cauliflower, Leek and Cheddar Soup

The winner of "Neat Foods Giveaway" is Kiran. Congratulations friend, I will be contacting you shortly.

Is it just me or 2015 going way too fast? It's been a pretty fun ride so far - an exciting freelance project, travel to two cities in a month, and I am on top of my assignments (who am I?). While I am not complaining about these positive happenings, certainly other areas of my life have suffered a bit namely my blog, the current state of my apartment, and lack of consistency in my workout. How in the world do people find time/energy/motivation to manage everything or do I have too much on my plate? Instead of setting specific goals like last year, I have decided that in 2015 I should go with the flow - be more adventurous and build a better blogging community. Talking about the community, I participated in Cabot Creamery's challenge for Recipe ReDux members to create a healthier snack from finger foods to hearty appetizers for entertaining. With the blizzard going on right now, I think we could all use a bowl or two of Cauliflower, Leek and Cheddar Soup as a starter while watching Super bowl this weekend.auliflowerleekcheddarsoupCabot Creamery, a family-farmer owned cooperative of more than 1200 farms located throughout New England and New York focuses on community and sustainability. They graciously sent me cheese (many blocks of cheese) as a part of this challenge; I chose their "seriously sharp cheddar cheese" for the cauliflower, leek and cheddar soup which are naturally lactose-free and are pretty intensely tangy with a complex almost nutty flavor. Since I am head over heels for my cold potato and leek soup, I took some elements from that recipe and recreated the Cauliflower, Leek and Cheddar Soup.cauliflowerleekcheddarsoup2While potato and cheddar soup loaded with bacon is more common - we are re-creating a healthier bowl of Cauliflower, Leek and Cheddar Soup yet keeping it classy, hearty, and delicious. Cauliflower is used instead of potatoes as they are much lower in carbs (save those carbs for the pizza later) and a good quality cheese such as seriously sharp cheddar cheese. Like most things in life, when it comes to cheese, go for quality rather than quantity because there is clearly a BIG difference. I have been on a 'fat-free' and 'low-fat' cheese train before (seriously what was I thinking?) and over the years, I have noticed that a quality cheese goes a long way in terms of both taste and mouthfeel without having to add bags of cheese that taste nothing like cheese (you know what I am talking about...right???). cauliflowerleekcheddarsoup1Cauliflower, Leek and Cheddar Soup is a perfect vehicle for crusty bread while watching the Super bowl/Red carpet events or whatever entertains you. This is exactly my kinda soup that can be whipped together without much fuss, its simple, straightforward and with a few key ingredients that comes together in less than an hour. However, I would suggest you make this the day of rather than reheating it, not that it taste bad or anything, I thought it tasted better the day of...and chives, do not miss out on chives. Green onions will probably work too though. cauliflowerleekcheddarsoup3For all my vegetarians, lactose-free, gluten-free people out there - this soup is right up your alley. Cauliflower thickens nicely without having to add flour like most creamy recipes. So we are essentially eating our daily dose of delicious, nutritious vegetables in the form of soup without even realizing it. And seriously sharp cheddar cheese, you can't really go wrong with it. It's a win in my book and hope it's a win in yours too. cauliflowerleekcheddarsoup4

Cauliflower, Leek and Cheddar Soup
Serves: 2 large/4small
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks sliced (use only the white parts)
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 9 oz)
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 5 oz seriously sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • handful of chopped chives for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil and saute leeks for 5-8 minutes until slightly browned.
  2. Add cauliflower florets and broth and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes until softened.
  3. Season it with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  4. Allow it to cool for a little bit then blend it to a velvety consistency.
  5. Bring it back to simmer in the same sauce pan then add cheese letting it melt slowly.
  6. Once melted, taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  7. Garnish with chives right before serving.

Disclaimer:  “By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."