Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Soup *melissa

What could be better than a bowl of hot soup to soothe away the chill of winter? I make a lot of soups in the fall and winter. Usually soups are very budget friendly and can easily be doubled to feed large groups. This is a new one that I tried this fall and it turned out to be a delicious hit!

1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 head of cauliflower, cored and separated into florets
1 bunch of leeks
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 slices of bacon, chopped
2 heaping tsp curry
1 dash of cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken broth (more for thinning soup if desired)
1 can of evaporated milk
sharp cheddar, grated for garnishing

Set the oven to 350 degrees. Then, chop your leeks.
Then rinse and soak in cold water while you prepare other ingredients. This allows all the sand and dirt to loosen.
Peel, remove seeds, and chop the squash...

Core and separate cauliflower into florets...

Line baking sheet or dish with foil and coat with cooking spray to prevent vegetables from sticking to the foil. Add vegetables and spread them out for even roasting. Place in oven and roast for about 15 minutes or until slight browning occurs. This roasting process starts to caramelize the sugars in the vegetables and adds a rich depth to the flavor of the soup.

Chop bacon and saute in heavy bottomed pot...

Drain leeks and press dry with clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Saute in bacon drippings. Season with black pepper. (There's plenty of salt in the bacon so I don't add any.) Add curry powder, stir to coat leeks and bacon.
Add about 1 cup of chicken broth to pot and deglaze by using a wooden spoon or spatula and scraping up the tasty brow bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add roasted vegetables, remainder of chicken broth and dash of cayenne pepper.

Simmer over medium heat for 30 to 40 min or until cauliflower is easily mashed with a fork. Puree with wand blender or in batches in a blender. Then add evaporated milk and stir until well incorporated.

Serve with shredded sharp cheddar cheese sprinkled to the top. If you really want to enhance the creaminess of this soup try it with a dollop of sour cream...even if it is a little greedy . Enjoy!

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