1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (about 2 large cloves)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups milk, at room temperature
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or chives
Optional garnish: crispy cooked, chopped bacon; chives or parsley
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place cauliflower florets on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast cauliflower for about 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until tender and browned.
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 8-10 minutes). Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Sprinkle in the flour and thyme; cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
Gradually add broth and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you stir. Cook until the broth thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the milk and roasted cauliflower florets. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 more minutes, or until the soup is warmed through. Do not let it boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese and fresh parsley or chives. Stir until the cheese melts. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Ladle into bowls and garnish with crispy bacon, if desired.
Recipe by The Seasoned Mom