There comes a time when soup is really the only thing that can hit the spot.
For me, that time came after trudging 4 miles in the mud along the Cliffs of Moher in October.
The day we were scheduled to go to the cliffs was the day Storm Callum rolled through. Instead of having the typical Midwestern tornado warning that we are used to, Ireland has actual wind storms that cause damage to property and power outages. Coastal counties usually get hit the worst, so going to stand on literal edge of a cliff was probably not the best idea with 80 mile-per-hour winds.
Luckily, the storm blew through that morning, a few hours before we arrived at the cliffs. But it was still so incredibly windy -- at times it was even difficult to stand up. It was also about 55-60 degrees, so a crisp wind off of the ocean made it downright frigid.
Yet the scenery was so breathtaking, we managed to walk in the muddy trenches for three or four hours before tiring out. That night, we stayed at a small bed and breakfast in Doolin. There wasn't a whole lot in the town, but we found some food and live music at McGann's Pub. I wanted to eat the hottest thing on the menu, and settled for "vegetable soup." I pictured our traditional vegetable soup, but this was a puréed version that warmed me to the core.
With this recent winter weather, I figured we could all use a hot soup recipe.
So here's a healthy twist on a puréed soup, with cauliflower rather than potatoes to give it some sustenance. As an added bonus, it can be made in the crockpot!
Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese Soup
Recipe from www.reciperunner.com
3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
2 cups cauliflower florets, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced shallots
1 large carrot, diced
3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
Salt, black pepper and hot sauce to taste
1 cup milk, (I used plain almond milk)
6 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
Place the broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, hot sauce and vegetable or chicken broth in the slow cooker.
Stir everything together then cover with the lid and set to low.
Cook for 6-8 hours or until the vegetables are very tender.
Use an immersion stick blender or regular blender to purée the soup until it's smooth.
Add in the milk and cheese and blend until the cheese is melted and everything is combined.
Blend in the Greek yogurt until combined and the soup is smooth.
Taste for seasoning then serve.