When All Else Fails . . . Soup

26 Nov

Yesterday the hubs and I went to our first kids birthday party with our baby.  It was filled with the usual—an insane amount of sugar, 4 year-olds running around with foam pirate swords, more sugar—-it wasn’t so bad.  It was actually a beautiful day and I could relax in the fact that since my kid is too young to eat solids, I didn’t have to deal with the bargaining and tears that come with trying to temper your child’s sugar intake at a birthday party.  At some point I swear I was in a Judd Apatow movie when I overheard a father ask his 18 month old, “Is that poop I smell? Did you poop your pants?”  All in all, it was a lovely day.  Then I got home and received word that my beloved dog, Teddy, isn’t doing so well and the end might be near.  Before there was hubby, before there was baby, it was just Teddy and me.  As a twenty-something in Chicago, Teddy was my buddy.  Every Saturday morning, when the weather allowed us, we would take incredibly long walks around the city.  Sometimes I would stop in our favorite coffee shop, Central Bark, and I’d get a latte and he’d have a biscuit; it was really lovely.  That little man went everywhere with me.  When my grandfather unexpectedly passed away a few days before Thanksgiving, my cousin, his then fiancée (now wife), Teddy and I  jumped in the car and drove to Louisville in a blizzard.  At one point on that drive he ate dinner with us in a Burger King, B. K. (Before Kosher) as it was too cold to leave him in the car for a few minutes and too snowy and dangerous to drive while eating.  He just sat there eating chicken fries (sorry PETA and other concerned pet-lovers.  At least it was food. He was fine. Calm down.), happy as can be.  He was truly my little buddy and I will be forever grateful for his companionship.  When it came time for me to move myself to Israel for the year Teddy moved into my mom’s place in Asheville, NC and lived the life of a retiree in the mountains and he’s been there ever since.  He complained, he went on long walks, he slept a lot, he was happy.  Now he’s dealing with some yucky cancer and we’re not sure how much longer it’s going to be.  Mom took him to the emergency vet yesterday in the evening and while I waited to hear the news of his condition I made soup.  What else are you supposed to do when you need to be busy while waiting to hear about your furry friend?  The soup decided upon was a roasted cauliflower soup.  I found the recipe on Pinterest and tweaked/added a few things and I really feel the result was the taste and comfort I was looking for.   The original recipe did not call for smoked paprika or dill but I really felt like the paprika and the dill would compliment the cheddar nicely while not over powering each other.  However, the paprika is definitely more of an ‘ingredient’ while the dill is more a garnish, if that makes sense.  Also, it’s important to taste and taste often with a heavy recipe.  I ended up adding the squeeze of lemon at the end because it just needed a bit of acid to balance that cream.  Anyway, I hope you find the soup just as comforting as I did while making it under happier circumstances.

Ted with some awesome friends the day after my wedding.

Oh! Before I write out the ingredients/how-to I wanted to list all of Ted’s nicknames given to him by myself and various friends throughout the years.  You know, one last time.
1. Tedward
2. J. Tedgar Poover
3. Tedgar Allen Poo
4.  Theo
5.  Teddy Ruxpin
6. Teddykins

Ted and I in Chicago keeping each other warm.

What?
  • 1  head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups aged white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • juice of half a lemon
  • A few sprigs of fresh dill for garnish
How’s That Now?
  1. Toss the cauliflower florets in the oil along with the salt and pepper and arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  2. Roast the cauliflower in a preheated 400F oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  6. Add the broth and cauliflower, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  7. Puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency with an immersion blender.
  8. Mix in the cheese, let it melt and season with paprika.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Mix in the milk and remove from heat — MAKE SURE TO TASTE AGAIN
  11. Add squeeze of half a lemon to balance out the heaviness of the soup.
  12. Garnish with dill.

Bottom of the delicious, delicious soup pot

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