Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cream of Cauliflower Chicken Soup

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. oil
1 med. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup half & half
2 Tbsp. corn starch
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  In a bowl drizzle 2 Tbsp. oil over cauliflower.  Spread evenly over cookie sheet and bake 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and Italian seasoning.  Sauté about 1 minute.  Add broth and cauliflower.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes.  Dissolve corn starch in half & half.  Add to pan, whisking to blend.  Stir in cheese, chicken, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil stirring constantly.  As soon as the soup comes to a boil, remove from heat & Serve.  Serves 6

Martha:  This soup can also be made using broccoli but I promise you the cauliflower is a must try at least once.  I came up with this when I found a cauliflower soup recipe.  I made a few changes and additions creating the recipe above.  It was a real hit with those lucky enough to give it a try.  When I served up a dish of this for myself I sprinkled a little cheese on top and sprinkled it with oyster crackers.  Perfect for a cold winter day.

Lillian: I love cauliflower no matter how you fix it. This recipe gives the full flavor of the cauliflower with the added bonus of Italian seasonings. This is different and so good.

Martha:  It actually gives you those flavors plus the chicken and they all blend so well together.

Tips:  Some of our recipes call for chicken that has been "flattened" or pounded.  This used to give me some concern as to how this was done but it is really quite simple.  First you place your uncooked chicken between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, a flat circular meat tenderizer, a rolling pin, or even the bottom of a small pan, gently pound the chicken from the center to the outside until the desired thickness is reached.  The whole key to this is pounding from the center.  If you pound from the outside 1st you'll get thick centers and very thin outsides.  Believe me, I've made this mistake many times.