Slow Cooker Cauliflower, Cheese, and Garlic Bread Soup

04bCauliflowerSoupbfLOYeh, I know what you’re thinking:

“SOUP!?! In JULY?!?”

Let me just say this about that:

1: it’s been a cool early summer up here on the edge o’ the lake and prairie, and…

2: this is a slow cooker recipe, so you’re not steamin’ up the place with a big, bubbling pot of tasty soup goodness. And trust me, this is very. Good. Soup.

01aCauliflowerbfLOAll thanks to the nice folk at Taste of Home who published the recipe I based my soup on in their “Contest Winners” magazine. I changed a few amounts and added some additional seasonings (and toasted garlic bread) to make a soup I will be happy to eat just about any time of year.

•1/2 large head cauliflower, broken into florets
•2 celery ribs
•1 large carrot
•1 large green pepper
•1 small sweet red pepper
•3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
•4 cups chicken broth*
•2 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
(or, you could add plain sherry)
•1 tsp Westboroughshire Sauce
(or, regular Worcestershire sauce)
01cBlendedbfLO•3/4 tsp salt
•1/4 tsp garlic powder
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/8 tsp black pepper
•2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese (I used a two year old sharp white cheddar)
•1 cup cream
•1 cup milk
•1/4 cup (loosely packed) minced fresh parsley
•One loaf garlic bread toasted and sliced

*For vegetarian soup, substitute your favorite veggie stock.

02aAddCreamCheesebfLOAdd the cauliflower and other veggies to a four quart slow cooker, then add the chicken broth, the salt, garlic powder, and peppers, Sherry Peppers and Westboroughshire sauces (or sherry and Worcestershire).

Stir to combine, then cook on high for two hours before reducing the heat to low and continuing to cook for another two hours.

03aSeasonSoupbfLOUsing an immersion blender – or in batches in a regular blender, process the now tender veggies and until you have a smooth soup.

Return to the slow cooker (if using a blender), then stir in the shredded cheese, milk, and cream.

Cover and continue to cook on low for 30 minutes or so.

Give it a taste. Yes? No?

Mine definitely needed something, so I added 1/4 cup (loosely packed) of fresh minced parsley and a liberal grinding of good black pepper.

04aCaulliflowerSoupbfLOAt first, I served the soup with sliced toasted garlic bread on the side; then, I made a discovery that takes this from a very good soup to a Most. EXCELLENT! Soup:

I crumbled the toasted garlic bread into the soup bowl.

Cheesy toasty creamy cauliflower soup that hit just about every taste button I was aiming for.

Go ahead, enjoy a nice, hot bowl of soup.

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