Sometimes, I simply don’t understand my guys! I’ve been cursed with a couple of picky eaters … and a few food allergies to boot. My husband and oldest son are all about meat and potatoes, and it’s difficult to get them to eat their veggies. My husband is allergic to celery, raspberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, and lemon among other things. My oldest son is allergic to a bunch of fruits and some veggies. My youngest son’s food preferences seem to change on an almost daily basis. One day a meal I fix will be his favorite, and the next day he’s chiding me for forgetting that he doesn’t like it.
Will someone explain to me why both my sons like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sour kraut, Reuben Sandwiches, and spinach? I’m so confused! Fixing a meal that the entire household agrees upon can be a bit of a challenge, so now you understand one of the reasons I spend so much time experimenting in my kitchen. This soup recipe is the result of some of my tinkering when the boys were small. Sometimes I serve it with BLT sandwiches, but most of the time they just want it with the bacon added directly to the soup. My youngest tells me the soup is awesome, but adding bacon makes is double awesome. Whatever! I’m just glad they like it.
A little tip on cooking milk based recipes … to prevent scorching, a large double boiler comes in very handy. I have a commercial grade 1 1/2 gallon stainless steel double boiler that has been worth every single penny I paid for it. If you don’t have a large double boiler, be sure to keep your temperature low and stir frequently.
Bacon Cauliflower Cheddar Soup
1 head cauliflower, cooked, drained, and trimmed to bite sized pieces
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup flour
5 1/2 cups milk
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or more to suit your preference)
Salt to taste
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Make a standard white roux by melting the butter in your pot, adding the flour, and cooking for approximately 3 minutes so you won’t taste raw flour. Next, add the milk to the roux and stir with a whisk until thoroughly blended. Seriously… use a whisk, not a spoon. You’ll end up with a smooth, lump free sauce every time. Slowly heat the milk mixture until it thickens.
In a regular pot you would need to stir constantly to keep your mixture smooth, and to prevent scorching. The beauty of using a double boiler is that you can actually walk away from the pot for a minute or two. I’m able to work on other kitchen tasks while waiting for my milk to thicken, stopping to stir every couple of minutes.
Once the milk has thickened, add shredded cheddar cheese and stir until it has completely melted into the thickened milk. Stir in cauliflower pieces. Add cayenne and salt to taste.
Ladle soup into bowls and serve topped with crumbled bacon.