Creamy Cauliflower Soup a la Paula

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I recently found myself with a huge head of cauliflower and despite using it for a couple salads there was still an amazingly large portion of it left.  As it was getting a little past it’s prime I figured the best way to use it up was to make a pot of soup.  I checked my cook books and didn’t really have the right ingredients for any of their cauliflower soups so I set out to make my own, turns out I was thrilled with the results!  Here is the Paula version of Creamy Cauliflower Soup, I hope you will give it a try.

1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets (save a handful of the nicest and smallest florets for garnish)

1/4 cup of butter

1 large onion chopped

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste  (don’t add to much, you can taste and always add more if needed)

6-8 cups of chicken stock (enough to entirely cover cauliflower)

1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 cup of half and half

1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese

In a large sauce pan, melt butter and saute onions and cayenne pepper, add cauliflower, salt and pepper and  continue to saute for a couple minutes.  Add stock and cover, cook for about 20 minutes until cauliflower is very tender.  Turn off heat and  puree with an immersion blender until completely smooth.  Add nutmeg, cheese and half and half and stir until cheese is completely melted.  Throw in your florets and gently heat for about 10 minutes the florets will still be a little firm.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Sprinkle over a little fresh parsley and enjoy with a nice crusty bread!

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