Monday, January 31, 2011

Stephanie's Delicious Creamy Spinach and Cauliflower Cheese Soup

My new gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb lifestyle may be difficult at times (like when I have to say no to freshly baked apple pie), but it does come with a few perks.  For one thing, a lot less migraines.  For another, an excuse to invent recipes.  And as anyone who knows me knows, I love to invent recipes.

On Saturday, aside from cleaning up after my poor, sick Jasper (see last post), I also created a wonderful new soup:

Stephanie's Creamy Spinach and Cauliflower Cheese Soup
2 quarts half and half
1/2 stick salted butter
1 bag baby spinach
12 slices turkey bacon
2 sweet onions
2 heads cauliflower
4 cups monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan/romano cheese
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/8 cup white cooking wine
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon tarragon
2 tablespoons chives
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper  (don't worry, it will not make the soup spicy)
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste (be sure to use sea salt and freshly ground pepper for best flavor)

Pour the half and half into a large pot and place over medium heat.  While this is heating, melt the butter and cook the bacon.  Add the butter as soon as it is melted and stir thoroughly.  Pulverize the bacon, spinach, and onions in an electric chopper, then add each to the pot and stir well.  Next, chop up one head of cauliflower into small pieces and add it as soon as the soup has reached a simmer.  Pulverize the other head in your chopper, then combine it into the soup.  Mix in the wine, herbs, and spices, continuing to stir well.  After letting the soup cook for about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally, add the cheeses, then salt and pepper.  Let the soup cook about fifteen minutes longer, still stirring occasionally.  Final step: serve up a big bowl of it and enjoy!

This soup stores well in the refrigerator.  A little bit of separation occurs, but all you need to do is stir it.  It is a wonderful comfort food that is creamy and filling.

For a delicious and healthy dessert, mash up a bowl of frozen raspberries or blackberries, add some splenda or truvia, and pour in some half and half.  Mix it well until it is nice and creamy, like a rather thick sorbet.

No comments:

"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"