A chowder with all the yummy, potatoey, tasty goodness! …without the potatoes?!
That’s right! No starchy potatoes in this chowder! But no one will know better (unless you tell them!). Cauliflower is a secret food weapon, I swear! It’s a healthier alternative to cream, rice, gluten (sometimes) and potatoes. I’m sure you’ve seen those trendy cauliflower pizza crusts by now, or heard of fried cauliflower rice.
Cauliflower is mild in flavor, which makes it a perfect substitute for starchier foods that often lack nutritional benefits. Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, K, and all those B vitamins that help your body convert other foods into energy. Plus, FIBER!
My inspiration for this soup came from three sources: an instagram post from a friend of mine, Jenn (which was inspired by another friend, the Soup Master himself, Scott), my refusal to go grocery shopping in below freezing temps, and the head of garlic sitting on my counter top. With a little creativity, and Scott’s words of roasted-vegetable-puree wisdom in the back of my brain, this soup was born 🙂
You can make soup out of almost any roasted vegetable in three easy steps. Roast, add liquid, puree. That’s it! Of course you’ll need some seasonings too, but it really is that simple. What truly makes this roasted vegetable soup fantastic is the roasted garlic. If adds a slightly sweet, umami flavor to the dish. If you have never roasted garlic before, please do yourself a favor and roast some extra. When garlic is roasted, it transforms from the sharp, spice we recognize into a sweet, soft, buttery thing that is delicious spread all over toasted bread. You can also blend it into pasta sauces, gravies, or other soups.
Although the photo may be deceiving, this recipe does make four full servings of soup (there was still some in the pot). Be sure to subscribe for more recipes every week and leave a comment below when you make this soup for yourself!
Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Chowder
- 1 head cauliflower, but into florets
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 T olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Add cauliflower, 2 tsp of oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat cauliflower.
Keeping the head of garlic full, cut off the top so that all cloves are exposed. Drizzle 1 tsp oil into the garlic and lightly salt. Wrap the garlic in foil and place in a corner of the baking pan with the cauliflower.
Roast cauliflower and garlic for 30-35 mins, until cauliflower is starting to burn and garlic has softened and turned a dark, yellow-brown color. If needed, roast for up to 10 mins longer.
Add remaining oil to a large soup pot and heat over medium. When hot, add onion and saute until translucent.
Add the chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, roasted cauliflower and half of the roasted garlic to the pot. To remove garlic from skins, simply squeeze each clove until contents come out. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 10 mins with lid on.
Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Add heavy cream and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve hot with a drizzle of cream.
You will have extra roasted garlic. Save this and spread on toasted bread with butter or cheese.
If you do not have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup in a regular blender in batches. Be careful! The soup is hot.
For presentation, reserve a few small pieces of roasted cauliflower to place on top of finished soup. Drizzle with cream and a few spots of olive oil.