This week's Friday almost didn't happen because I have some kind of virus and feel awful and I've run out of brandy, so yeah, good times.
But THEN, my sister Heidi called me and told me the most amazing news!
No, it's not another niece or nephew on the way...sadly. It was food related which I'll settle for...for now. She had found and made a recipe that tasted like our favorite soup from the restaurant we frequented during our childhood. The restaurant is still there but the soup was taken off the menu years ago and we've never gotten over it. Our childhoods are peppered with memories of going to Bakers Square restaurant with our family and godmother, NIta and eating this soup. It was our go to restaurant. We girls would always order the same things, cottage cheese and/or salad, cauliflower augratin soup, and a slice of chocolate peanut butter cup pie. We were odd children but it was so, SO good. Thankfully, the peanut butter cup pie is stil there but we were all heartbroken the day, probably 10 years ago, that we tried to order our beloved Cauliflower Au Gratin soup and they told us they didn't serve it anymore.
But now we can dry our eyes because the soup is back, not at the restaurant but in our own kitchens! And it was perfect timing that she sent me the recipe today as the only thing that sounded appetizing to me in my current state was a steamy bowl of soup, (well and brandy but I digress). Sisterly timing.
So I made this soup tonight and it was every bit as delicious as I remember it. My boys gobbled it up too. Dakota and GI Joe wouldn't even try it as they "hate" cauliflower. The funny thing is that when we were ordering this soup as 6 and 9 year olds back in the late 80's/early 90's neither of us thought we liked cauliflower either. This soup is more about the cheese than it is the cauliflower so even if you think you don't like cauliflower you'll probably like this soup. Although I can't prove that since I didn't force my cauliflower hating family members to try it. Next time I'll blend it all up and tell them it's just cheese soup, shhh don't tell.
Anyway, here's the recipe.
Cauliflower Au Gratin Soup
1/2 stick butter
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
1 large carrot or 6 baby carrots, chopped
1/4 c. onion, chopped (or 1 T dried minced onion)
6 cups chicken broth or (6 bouillion cubes + 6 cups of water)
1 head of cauliflower
1 c. milk or half and half
2 T. cornstarch
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Saute carrots, celery, onion, and half the head of cauliflower finely chopped, in the butter. Add 6 cups of chicken broth and the other half of the cauliflower chopped into bigger pieces. Bring to a boil, then simmer until vegetables are tender. Add 2 T. cornstarch to 1 c. of milk or half and half to dissolve, then add to the broth. Add in can of cheese soup, salt and pepper to taste, simmer until thickened. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.
Hurry and make this, it'll cure whatever ails you. Or at least I'm hoping it will. At any rate it tastes delicious! Enjoy!