The kids are off school this week, and expect a real lunch and snacks every day - the nerve!- so I imagine that I'll be able to go through my packed fridge and freezer at a pretty good pace even if it means just throwing together small meals from random ingredients.They're finally at a more adventurous eating age, so we can try out new things. Gone are the days when all they will eat is buttered and parmed spaghetti or boxed mac-n-cheese. Thank God.
For lunch yesterday, I made a roasted cauliflower soup and crostini with pesto using some of the ramps I got this weekend. The kids cleaned their soup bowls pretty quickly: Score 1 for Mom.
Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup
- 1/2 head small cauliflower, roughly chopped or broken into florets
- 1 small shallot, peeled and cut in half
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1 strip of peppered bacon
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsnip, chopped
- 1/4 cup celery root, chopped
- 2 cups vegetable stock - or chicken stock
- 2 fresh sprigs of thyme
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- fresh sprigs of thyme
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Toss the garlic clove, shallot and cauliflower florets with a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes or until the florets are browned on the edges. Place in a bowl when they've finished roasting.
- Chop the bacon into 1-inch pieces and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon pieces to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
- Add the chopped onions to the bacon fat and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then add the parsnip and celery root. Cook until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the roasted vegetables, 2 sprigs of thyme and the stock to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, adding a bit more stock or water as needed.
- Blend the soup with an immersion blender or in a blender until it is the consistency you like.
- Add the cheddar and heavy cream, stirring until melted.
- Serve topped with reserved bacon and more thyme.