Friday, January 15, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower and Ham Soup

Note: I wrote this over the holidays while I had some extra time. Well, its raining again today. Perfect time to publish this!

I'm not sure what day I will post this soup recipe, but right now, it's raining. Again. Gerald's still on Christmas vaca, and we had soup for lunch today. And it was good......

The day after Christmas, I picked some kale and cauliflower from my mother's garden. I shared with you the recipe for my homemade broccoli and cheese soup made with Mama's homegrown broccoli. Soon I'll show you how to make kale chips. But today, I'm using the cauliflower for soup. Umm umm good...

Roasted Cauliflower and Ham Soup
about eight cups of cauliflower florets (this was two small crowns for me)
2 tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper
6 oz package of cured biscuit ham slices (or prosciutto or bacon)
1 tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
two 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
1/2 can water
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut cauliflower into florets. Toss in EVOO and salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.

This is the ham I often buy for biscuits. There are two thin slices in the package and they feel (and even taste) like prosciutto. You could use bacon if you don't have or can't find this or prosciutto.

I rolled the two slices up and cut into ribbons.

I pulled out about four rolls of ham and then cut the other slices into fourths.

Save this ham. We're gonna do something special with it later!

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, spray with Pam.

Toss in ham and stir with a spoon to separate. Turn heat down to medium low and cook until fat is rendered and ham gets a little color on it. It won't really get crispy. Remove ham but leave any fat in the pan.

Add onion and butter. Season with salt and pepper and saute until tender.

Meanwhile, mince garlic.

Add garlic when onion is soft and browned. Stir for about 30 seconds and remove from heat.

The cauliflower should be soft but not mushy.

These brown bits are gooooooood. We like them a lot.

Return pan to medium heat and add cauliflower.

Add two cans chicken broth and a half a can of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After about 20 minutes, the liquid will have reduced a little. The cauliflower is now very tender.

Over low heat, carefully use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

I blended all the cauliflower, but I still like it a little lumpy. Blend to your desired consistency.

Remove from heat. Stir in heavy cream.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. I probably added at least half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper.

I hope you saved a little bit of the ham, because tomorrow I'll show you how to make these yummy dippers!

I love to use my soup crocks, but I thought my white bowls would be prettier against the creamy soup.

Garnish with the ham. As I said, you could use bacon, but as Gerald pointed out, bacon is crumbly and the ham gives the creamy soup a little chew. I think he's learning, y'all! 

The dippers are made from crescent rolls and the ham strips.

Full disclosure - I couldn't get the kids to even try it, but Gerald had two bowls. I have packed up the rest to take to Mama and Daddy. I just feel it's only fair to share when I use produce from their garden. But as Gerald said - this recipe's a keeper!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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