When things take a turn for the turbulent, and life is so difficult you can hardly stand on your feet, many people turn to drugs and/or alcohol for condolence.
Me? I turn to food.
Everything has been rocky lately. It feels like a battle fought alone, one I know I can’t win. When you feel like that, it’s so much harder to try. Why bother if you’re bound to fail? Yet, some sort of blind hope propels you forward, and you don’t know if you’re resilient, or just a fool.
Maybe a little of both.
Whatever you want to call it, I’ve been trying my best to keep crawling back to my feet after getting shoved down relentlessly. There are a few simple things that help me do that, food being one of the strongest. As I’ve said before, food is my drug of choice. It’s either going to be the death of me or what gets me through.
I’m not sure I can think of a food with stronger mood-lifting powers than good old, comforting soup. What is it about that warm liquid goodness that makes me feel all full of content? A rough day, week, month, or whatever calls for soup. I mean, why do you think you eat it when you’re sick? It’s like instant revitalization!
With all the recipes for roasted cauliflower I’ve been seeing, I thought a Roasted Cauliflower Asiago Soup would be divine. Just to clarify, I was right. Oven-roasting equates to instant flavortization for any food that undergoes it. It caramelizes and intensifies the cauliflower so that it’s robust and prominent in the soup. Anyone who says cauliflower is boring has never tasted it roasted.
But just in case that’s not enough flavor, I let the garlic roast up good in the oven too, making it sweet and succulent enough to eat straight. Yes, I’m serious. Oven-roasting makes the plain garlic as good as a vegetable. Combine that with the cauliflower and some salty asiago cheese, and you’re on a one-way trip to flavor island.
This soup is hearty, creamy, and velvety. Look up “comfort” in the dictionary, and you’ll find a big bowl of Roasted Cauliflower Asiago Soup right next to the definition. It’s vegetarian, yes, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s light. And if you’re really in need of some meat, a little bit of bacon would be to die for.
Let’s put all our problems on hold for a few minutes and enjoy a bowl of soup. Life, we’ll talk later.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Parmesan works just as well as asiago.
- Use fresh garlic or don’t bother!
- This is a nice thick soup. If you want it thinner, add some veggie stock.
Roasted Cauliflower Asiago Soup
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 1 head fresh cauliflower, chopped
- 1 bulb fresh garlic
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 3 tbsp. + 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 3 cups milk
- 3/4 cup asiago cheese
- dash red pepper flakes
- more salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the cauliflower out in an even layer. Chop the tip of the garlic bulb off so that all the cloves are exposed. Place in the center of the tray with the cauliflower. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender. Set aside.
- In a large pot over medium-low heat, add the 1/4 cup olive oil and heat. Add the shallot and saute for two minutes. Add the milk and bring to a low simmer. Stir in the cauliflower and garlic and use an immersion blender to reach your desired smoothness. If you don’t have an immersion blender, place the cauliflower in a food processor and puree before adding to the pot.
- Let simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk in the cheese until completely melted then stir in red pepper flakes and salt. Serve immediately, preferably with some good bread for dipping.