Hi there. It has been a while, hasn't it. We made it through not one, but two surgeries for my husband over the past couple of weeks. I know it is a tough recovery. I had sinus surgery in 2003 and I missed two weeks of work, but he really had a tough recovery. After a week and a half of misery, he had to have a second procedure and is now on the mend and feeling better.
So what does this have to do with soup, you ask? A lot actually. All he wanted to eat after the surgeries was soft foods like mashed potatoes and soup. After you have nasal surgery, you can only breathe through your mouth until the bandages are removed. Which means that breathing when you eat is a challenge, hence the desire for soup.
So we had a lot of soup. Good thing it's winter and we like soup so much. This creamy cauliflower soup is one I'm glad to add to my repertoire. It's creamy, hearty, delicious and I love serving my family a meal that's chock full of vegetables and wonderful flavor.
So confession time...See those little black flecks in the cauliflower soup, those are burnt onions. I decided to go ahead and photograph anyway because a.) the soup is fantastic even with burnt onions and b.) we do "real" here. I make food for my family and do photo shoots in our home (no studio here and I shoot for less than 10 minutes, maybe a dozen shots if I'm lucky) and if our soup has burnt onions we eat it anyway. Our house is busy with four kids so sometimes I burn things. It's all part of the beautiful, messy life we lead and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
So if you try your hand at making some creamy cauliflower soup, I'm sure you won't burn the onions like I did. But if you do enjoy it, burnt onions and all.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
1 sweet onion, diced
2 carrots, grated
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
10 T. butter, divided
Splash cooking Sherry, (optional)
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped or 24 oz. bag cauliflower florets
5 Cups chicken broth or stock
1 T. dried parsley
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
½ tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. Creole seasoning, (optional)
6 T. flour
1 Cup milk
½ Cup whipping cream
1. Melt 4 T. butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, celery and garlic until tender.
2. If you like, add a splash of cooking Sherry to deglaze the pan. Add cauliflower, chicken broth, parsley, salt, pepper, basil, and Creole seasoning. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes.
3. While soup is simmering, melt 6 T. butter in a 2 qt. saucepan. Stir in 6 T. flour, then milk and whipping cream and cook and stir to make a thick white sauce.
4. Use a potato masher to mash up the soup, breaking the cauliflower into smaller pieces. Then stir in the white sauce and continue to cook and stir until thickened.
Everything cookies have been my favorite cookies for as long as I can remember having a favorite cookie. They are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and have so many wonderful flavors of toasted nuts, oatmeal, coconut, raisins, and chocolate.
On another note, it's nice to be back at it again. I like the routine of being back to normal after a long Christmas break. When we came home from break, they were still installing a new kitchen, laundry room, and kitchen nook/butler's pantry floor (which is awesome!), but we are just now getting the house put back together. Plus our 5 year old and myself have been really sick with the flu over the past two weeks and my husband had sinus surgery this week. We are all so so glad to be getting back to "normal".
Here is glimpse into our kitchen nook where we have been eating off of the card table while sorting through everything that was piled into the dining room while the floors were done. Tonight was our first night eating in the dining room again and it was nice to be back to our usual dinner routine. The floors do look beautiful though and it forced us to go through more stuff and organize (two boxes of donations and two boxes of trash from today's work). This little kitchen nook is usually an art/homework room for the boys and they are glad to get it back. I also do most of my food photography in this little kitchen nook...So glad to get back to normal!
This is the butler's pantry across from the kitchen nook. I really did have this counter cleaned off this week which lasted for about half a day. You pass through here to get from the kitchen to the dining room so it's kind of a hallway too. I love the extra storage from the butler's pantry.
More on getting back to "normal"...I know that in our house full of boys that our normal may be a little chaotic to some. Sure it's full of adventure, dirt-SO MUCH DIRT, laughter, and LOTS of NOISE, but I'll take our glorious chaos because I know that someday when the house is quiet I'll miss the joy that came with the chaos.
Speaking of Joy...These M & M Everything cookies will bring some Joy. They are perfect for gift giving, although you better make a double batch if you have a sweet tooth.
I used red and green M & M's for Christmas. Wouldn't these be pretty with red M & M's for Valentine's Day or spring M & M's for Easter? One more note...you might be tempted to skip toasting the nuts, but don't, it takes the flavor to a whole new level.
1 ¼ cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk
1-2 cups chocolate chips*
1 cup quick or old fashioned oats
½ cup raisins
½ cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup M & M's chocolate candies
1. Toast nuts on a small un-greased pan in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
2. Turn oven temperature up to 375 degrees.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture and milk. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, raisins, nuts, coconut, and M & M's candies.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment lined baking sheets.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are crisp but centers are still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
*I use less chocolate chips when adding M & M's, but if you are a chocolate lover, go all out.
Makes about 3 dozen.
My favorite cookie scoop makes perfect cookies every time. I got this Nordic Ware cookie scoop in my Christmas stocking one year.
Mashed potato soup has been a favorite in our house for years. I started making this several years ago when I had some leftover mashed potatoes to use. We love it so much that now I puposely make extra mashed potatoes just so that I can make mashed potato soup.
You don't need a whole pound of bacon for this recipe, but I always cook a whole pound because my boys LOVE bacon, like really LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE bacon. This is a great use of leftover mashed potatoes. It is quick to make from start to finish and it is thick and hearty. Great for warming up on cold winter nights.
So next time you have some leftover mashed potatoes, make this delicious mashed potato soup and enjoy every creamy, bacony bite.
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Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) Teacher turned work at home Mom, bringing you family friendly, homemade recipes and homemaking tips to simplify your life. Join me on my homemaking and mothering journey.
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