It can be made earlier in the day and reheated (may need a smidge of milk to thin it), and it does have a thick, chunky texture like potato soup. Besides being easy to prepare, I like that it provides a good serving of vegetables. I made a number of modifications from the original, and my version is below.
Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed
4 cups chopped cauliflower florets (from 1 medium head)
2 cans fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
1 cup extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
Croutons or crumbled bacon for garnish
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, 2-1/2 cups milk, broth, bay leaf, salt and both peppers. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is soft, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl. When the cauliflower is soft, remove the bay leaf and stir in the milk mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the soup has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes more. I pureed with my stick blender. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheese. Garnish with croutons or bacon.
Makes 8 – 1 cup servings