Roasted Cauliflower & White Cheddar Soup

   

I’m going to blunt when I start off this post today – I love this soup. It contains caramelized roasted cauliflower, potato, sharp white cheddar, sour cream, and fresh parsley. If you know anyone that is on the fence about cauliflower, throw a bowl of this soup at them and knock them down. Onto the cauliflower loving side of course.

Roasted Cauliflower & White Cheddar Soup

You can break the steps of this recipe into two parts if you prefer. The cauliflower can definitely be roasted ahead of time so you only need to worry about the soup itself when dinner rolls around. I find that the entire process overlaps pretty well though, and that if I get the cauliflower in the oven first everything else is ready by the time it’s done cooking. I believe it would also be pretty simple to cut the calories in the recipe by using skim milk, a reduced fat cheese, and reduced fat sour cream.  I personally find this soup is hearty enough to eat as a meal with a chunk of good bread, and at less than 350 calories per bowl I don’t feel too bad about going full fat for really good cheesy flavor. I don’t call myself the Gouda Monster for nothing!

Roasted Cauliflower & White Cheddar Soup

Roasted Cauliflower & White Cheddar Soup
Serves 6
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  2. 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  7. 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  8. 5 cups stock
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  11. 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  12. 1 cup milk
  13. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  14. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  15. 4 ounces sour cream (creme fraiche works well too)
  16. 5 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Toss cauliflower florets with the 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower starts to brown on the edges.
  2. Heat the other teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan and lightly cook your onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, before adding in the diced potato. Cook the potato for 2-3 minutes, pour in the stock, add the bay leaf, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and allow to cook until the potatoes are fork tender. This happens more quickly if your potatoes are finely diced.
  3. When the cauliflower is roasted, add it to the soup pot with the potatoes. I recommend reserving a few pieces for garnish because they are just so tasty on their own. Keep soup covered while you make your roux.
  4. In a small sauce pan melt your butter down. Once hot sprinkle the flour over the top and whisk until smooth. Cook for about a minute and then add your milk. Season with black pepper and nutmeg. Continue whisking the mixture until it thickens slightly - about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Remove soup from heat. Using an immersion blender puree your soup to desired consistency (I like to leave it a little bit chunky). If you don't have an immersion blender you could transfer the soup to a regular blender to puree in batches.
  6. Stir in the thickened milk sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese and fresh parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Calories
  1. 339
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/
Roasted Cauliflower & White Cheddar Soup

This giveaway has ended – Thanks to everyone that participated!

And now of course for the contest information! I’m really excited to finally be able to have my first giveaway on Gouda Monster. For Christmas I got two immersion blenders – what a lucky break for my readers, right? My hand blender is probably one of my most coveted kitchen gadgets. After mine broke I felt lost without it – there is definitely no easier way to quickly puree a soup or whip up small batches of sauces, dressing, or salsas. I also use mine to create smoothies in the morning because I find cleanup to be far simpler than a full sized blender. The particular model up for grabs is the Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender in Brushed Chrome, which holds a glowing 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.  There are several ways to enter and entries will be open for two weeks, however due to shipping costs I will only be able to ship to people that live within the United States & Canada. The winner will be announced by the end of the month – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Immersion Blender Giveaway


Autumn Minestrone

   

Few dishes are more comforting than a piping hot bowl of soup during the chilly months. I love making soups and stews; not only are they almost completely foolproof, they are also easily customizable. Whatever leftover veggies are in the fridge can be tossed into a pot and transformed into a hearty meal – it’s awesome.

Autumn Minestrone

For this minestrone I used Pomi brand boxed tomatoes because I love the flavor as well as the fact that they are not cooked with salt. One box of Pomi tomatoes is about the same as two 14oz cans, and you can substitute accordingly. Keep in mind that you may want to tweak the salt in the recipe if your canned tomatoes contain sodium. Also feel free to use more pasta. I choose to go fairly light to focus on the vegetables and keep the calorie count low.

Autumn Minestrone

Autumn Minestrone
Serves 6
A warm, comforting soup that is full of vegetables and low in calories.
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  2. 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  3. 2 stalks celery, diced
  4. 1 cup carrots, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 4 cups stock
  7. 1 28oz carton chopped tomatoes (or 2 14oz cans)
  8. 1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt (adjust depending on the sodium content of your stock and tomatoes)
  10. 1 sprig of rosemary, stem removed and leaves minced
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  13. 1/2 cup small, dry pasta (I used cavatelli)
  14. 2 cups kale, chopped (or other green of choice)
  15. 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a deep soup pan heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook until onions are slightly translucent – about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add stock, tomatoes, and all of your seasonings. Bring soup just to boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add pasta and kale, cooking for another 10-12 minutes (or however long your pasta needs to cook based on package instructions).
  4. Just before serving stir in fresh parsley.
Calories
  1. 148
Optional olive bread crouton topping
  1. Cut olive bread into 1 inch pieces and toss with a small amount of olive oil to coat. Spread onto a nonstick baking sheet and put into a 400F oven for about 15 minutes or until the croutons are dry and crunchy.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/

Autumn Minestrone


Rosemary Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese “Fries”

   

The classic pairing of grilled cheese and tomato soup is one of my all time favorites. It’s something that I – and most other people I know  – grew up eating, so as adults it has evolved into no-fuss comfort food. Nostalgia aside, it’s incredibly easy to make a more grown-up version of this dish that will make you want to throw away your can opener and forget the name Campbell’s (except don’t toss the can opener because you need it for the tomatoes). I grow basil on my balcony because I love it so much and it’s almost always the flavor used in tomato soup, but if you’ve never made your tomato soup with rosemary you’re in for a real treat. It’s particularly wonderful when fall starts to roll around because rosemary has a savory, evergreen-like aroma that reminds me of the upcoming holidays. The soup itself is very low calorie (less than 80 per bowl) but I still wanted to find a way to trim down the calories on the grilled cheese front. In the end I decided to make open-faced grilled cheese “fries” so that each person only got one slice of bread instead of two. Not only is it a little bit healthier, but they are the perfect finger food for dunking into a piping hot bowl of soup. But yeah… I still ate two slices of bread because the fries were too delicious. Oh well… I tried!

Rosemary Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Fries

While making this for lunch today I didn’t remember until the very end that my immersion blender was broken. I ended up transferring the soup to the food processor to puree it which made me realize how much I LOVE my immersion blender. If you don’t have one of these and you find yourself making a lot of stove-top soups and sauces I highly recommend getting one. It makes your life so much easier! Doing it in the food processor or in the blender works fine though, just make sure that you’re careful as the hot liquid can splash around and make a mess – especially if you overfill the basin.

For the grilled cheese sticks I think using a combination of cheeses is the best way to go, but use whatever you have around. For mine I used a mix of sharp white cheddar, a colby-swiss blend, and mozzarella. The sharp cheddar gives it a nice pungent flavor while the other cheeses give an ooey gooey melty consistency. I used a total of 5 ounces so it would be a little under a serving of cheese per person – another area where I was trying to skim off a few calories. The bread I used was a white Italian bread with a subtle open crumb. The shallow holes end up creating yummy cheesy pockets of awesomeness, and in some cases the cheese oozed through and browned a little on the bottom when grilling – perfect.

Rosemary Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Fries

Rosemary Tomato Soup
Serves 6
Warm, comforting tomato soup infused with the scent of fresh rosemary.
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  2. 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  3. 1 cup grated carrots
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  7. 5 cups vegetable stock
  8. 1 31.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  11. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  12. Salt, to taste (use more or less depending on the sodium content of your stock – I didn’t need any extra salt for mine)
  13. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in soup pan on medium high heat. When hot add onions, carrots, garlic, rosemary, and the 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Let cook for several minutes until the onions are just slightly caramelized.
  2. Pour stock into the pan, making sure to stir well to get all of the caramelized bits off of the bottom. Add entire can of tomatoes, bay leaf, and additional seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig from the soup. It’s ok if any rosemary leaves fell off while cooking, as they will be blended in when you puree the soup. Turn off the heat.
  4. Using either an immersion blender or food processor, puree soup to desired consistency.
  5. Transfer back to pot stir in the heavy cream. Serve immediately.
Calories
  1. 79
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/
Grilled Cheese "Fries"
Serves 6
Fun twist on traditional grilled cheese – perfect for soup dunking!
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 ounces shredded cheese (I used a blend of sharp white cheddar, colby-swiss, and mozzarella)
  2. 6 slices of good bread
  3. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat a skillet on medium high heat and turn on your oven’s broiler.
  2. Brush each slice of bread with the melted butter on one side. I had a little extra butter leftover and just poured it into my soup pot – yum!
  3. Place your bread, butter-side down, onto your hot skillet. Put shredded cheese on top and allow it to get nice and seared on the bottom.
  4. Transfer the bread slices to your oven to brown the cheese. It happens pretty quickly so take care not to let it burn.
  5. Put cheese bread on cutting board and let cool a couple of minutes before slicing into sticks. Top with fresh black pepper.
Calories
  1. 191
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/

Rosemary Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Fries


Roasted Broccolini, Potato, and Smoked Gouda Soup

   

I don’t think there are many people out there that don’t enjoy a warm, hearty bowl of potato soup… but when you add cheese and broccoli to it? Pretty much heaven in each bite. Recipes for this type of soup are a dime a dozen, and I even make it multiple ways myself. What I think sets this particular soup apart is both the roasting of the vegetables and the use of a delicious smoked Gouda in place of the more traditional cheddar.

 

I’ve had a few people recently tell me that I should update my blog more often. I try to get at least one recipe up a week, but I want to take this advice to heart and get into the habit of posting more often. I actually have a backlog of another 4-5 recipes that I’m waiting to write about; I just need to get it done.

For the past couple of weeks my mind has been somewhat preoccupied with the creation of my Halloween costume. I love the art of transforming myself into someone new for a few hours so I’m kiiiiind of a costume junkie. For the past three years I’ve been in California for BlizzCon (yeah, I’m a World of Warcraft nerd – wanna fight about it??) and for that reason I have really missed dressing up for Halloween. This year I opted to do a Dia de los Muertos themed costume and put a fair amount of thought and time into crafting the dress and practicing the makeup. In the end I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Now that I’ve finished my costume, attended the party, and gotten all of that out of my system I’m ready to forge full steam ahead on the blog again – starting with this super yummy soup! And considering this soup is a meal in a bowl, it is pretty reasonable at 400 calories per serving. This particular time that I made it I decided I wanted to bump up the protein and include the addition of seitan. For you non-veggie folks out there, this is just a non-soy alternative to chicken for us vegetarians. You can leave the protein out (I actually prefer it that way) or opt to use some chopped leftover chicken or crumbled bacon if you like. I’ve yet to make a vegan alternative to this, but I actually think using nutritional yeast and a bit of the hickory flavored bacon salt would be an awesome substitution for the smoked Gouda – just make sure to use a little more liquid to compensate for the thickness that the nutritional yeast would add.

A friend of mine that ate this soup paid me quite a compliment on it and I’ll try to paraphrase as best I can, “I think your broccoli potato soups are my favorite soups. Not just out of the soups you make – out of all soups, ever.”

Awesome. :D

Roasted Broccolini, Potato, and Smoked Gouda Soup
Serves 3
A chunky potato soup with flecks of roasted broccolini and smoky gouda cheese.
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4lbs of baby yukon gold potatoes, diced (I used half of a 1.5 pound bag)
  2. 1 bunch of broccolini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 4-5 cups of vegetable stock (I used 4 because I like a thick soup)
  6. 1 package of chicken-style seitan, chopped
  7. 4 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
  8. Fresh black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Toss chopped broccolini and potatoes with half of olive oil and distribute evenly on a cookie sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile heat the other half of the olive oil in a pot big enough for your soup. Add chopped seitan and garlic, cooking until the seitan is lightly browned.
  4. Add stock and roasted vegetables. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Let cook, covered, for approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Using an immersion blender partially blend the soup. Little bits of potato and broccolini are ok, it doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth.
  6. Stir in the smoked Gouda until melted and then add the cooked seitan and garlic. Season liberally with black pepper.
Calories
  1. 400
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/


Simple Skinny Broccoli Soup

   

A while back I bought a really nice rice cooker. It set us back enough that I was determined to get more use out of it than just making the occasional pot of rice. For months I made as many things as I could in the rice cooker, and this was one of the easier (and lighter) recipes from that time. There is no reason you can’t do this on the stove top though! I originally made this soup at 4 servings, but my boyfriend and I ending up splitting the whole thing. If you serve it between 4 people it’s only about 100 calories per bowl (which is why it’s so easy to have two).

 

Simple Skinny Broccoli Soup
Serves 2
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups of water
  2. 1 bouillon cube
  3. 2 cups of chopped broccoli florets
  4. 2 medium yellow potatoes, chopped
  5. 1/2 onion, chopped
  6. 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  8. 1 teaspoon dried sage
  9. 2 tablespoons of cream cheese (can use low-fat or fat-free cream cheese if you like)
  10. Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Dump everything but the cream cheese into the rice cooker and start it. You can see the process for making this soup is going to be very complicated!
  2. When the vegetables are soft, either use an immersion blender (careful not to scratch up your rice cooker!) or transfer the soup to a food processor to puree.
  3. Stir in the cream cheese until it’s melted throughout. Salt and pepper to your liking.
Calories
  1. 200
Notes
  1. You can use 4 cups of stock in place of the water/bouillon. You can also use fresh herbs in place of the dried, but you’ll want to up the teaspoons to tablespoons.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/

Black Bean Soup & Chili Lime Tortilla Chips

   

So easy to make I’m embarrassed to post it. Leave out the cream (or opt for a nondairy alternative) and cheese garnish for a tasty vegan entree.

 

Black Bean Soup & Chili Lime Tortilla Chips
Serves 3
A very easy and satisfying meal that is also low calorie at 350 per portion, including the chips.
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. For the soup:

  2. 1 Can Black Beans
  3. 1 Cup Canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  4. 1 Jalapeno diced
  5. ¼ Onion diced
  6. 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  7. ½-1 Cup Water
  8. 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  9. 1 Bay Leaf
  10. 1 Tablespoon Heavy Cream
  11. 1 ½ Ounces Queso Fresco
  12. Green Onion diced, for garnish

  13. For the chips:

  14. 6 Corn Tortillas
  15. 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  16. 2 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  17. Salt & Chili Powder to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Using a nonstick pot cook the onion and jalapeno until onions start to become translucent.
  3. Whisk together the lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Brush over the tortillas (both sides) and cut them into 8 segments.
  4. Add canned beans, tomatoes, and ½-1 cup of water depending on how thick you want your soup. Add the seasonings (including any others you might like). Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low.
  5. Line the chips on a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake for around 8 minutes, flip them over, and bake for another 8 minutes. They should be super crispy. If not just bake a little longer until they are done.
  6. When they come out of the oven you can spray them with a light mist of cooking spray to give the seasoning salt something to stick to. Sprinkle with the salt and chili powder.
  7. Turn the heat off of the soup and add in one tablespoon of cream. Feel free to use sour cream, cream cheese, or nothing at all – but I like the added richness. There will be some leftover oil and lime juice from the tortilla chips, dump that into the soup as well. Remove the bay leaf. Stick an immersion blender in the pan or transfer about half the soup to a blender and pulse. The point is to get part of the soup smooth and creamy while still leaving some remaining beans and chunks of tomato for texture.
  8. Serve the soup (about 1/3 of the pot is a serving but you could probably stretch it to ¼ with more water) topped with some sliced green onion and ½ ounce of queso fresco cheese. Have your tortilla chips on the side.
Calories
  1. 350
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/