During my freshman year of college, there was a vegetarian station in my Quad’s dining hall. It was tucked away in the back corner, all the way on the other side of the seating area (God forbid there be any chance of Buffalo tempeh or curried lentils coming into contact with the pizzas or chicken patties served in the main section!). I honestly don’t think many students even noticed that it was there.
Cheddar & Ale Soup
- ½ head Cauliflower cut into florets (about 3 cups)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 small Onion finely chopped
- 2 ribs Celery finely chopped
- 1 Jalapeño minced
- 2 cloves Garlic smashed
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 bottle 12 ounces Ale, or other mild beer
- 3 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
- 6 ounces 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar shredded
- Fill a pot of water with a steamer insert and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower to the insert, cover, and steam for 10-15 minutes, or until very soft.
- While the cauliflower steams, heat the olive oil in a medium-sized (about 5 quart), heavy-bottomed pot. When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery, jalapeño, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until soft. Sprinkle with the flour and paprika, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add half the beer. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the beer is reduced by about half. Add 2-1/2 cups of the chicken stock and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Little by little, add in the shredded cheese, letting it melt completely between additions. Add the remaining beer.
- Add the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock and the steamed cauliflower to a food processor or blender and process until very smooth. Stir into the soup.