Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Creamy Zucchini and Cauliflower Soup w/ Bleu Cheese

This soup was inspired by a recipe in our ever-off-the-bookshelf cookbook, Vegetarian by Linda Frasier.  The hubs has been wanting this soup for months, but I really wanted to wait until spring when I could get tender, flavorful zucchini at the regular grocery store.  (It will be even better when I get them from the farmers market!)  This springy soup is the perfect compliment to roasted fish or grilled sandwiches.

Creamy Zucchini and Cauliflower Soup w/ Bleu Cheese
1/2 lrg vidallia onion, chopped
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 head cauliflower, chopped (~2 C)
~1 3/4 lb zucchini, chopped (4 med)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/4 tsp herbs de provence
1 bay leaf
4 C water + 1 tsp vegetable base (or 4 C vegetable broth)
4 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
2 oz neufchatel cheese
1/4 C cream or half and half
salt and pepper

   Heat butter and oil over med heat in a large pot.  Saute onion until soft, 5 min.  Add cauliflower, cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally so no color develops.  Add zucchini, cook 5-7 minutes.
   Add water, veg base, garlic, herbs, bay leaf, 3/4 tsp salt, and ~1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper.  Cover with lid slightly tilted and simmer over med heat for 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft.
   Remove bay leaf.  Use an immersion blender (or food processor) to puree soup.  When it is about half way pureed, add cheeses.  Blend until smooth.  Add cream.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Reheat over medium, but don't heat it too much.  The soup should not be piping hot when served.  I find the flavors get lost when it is too hot.
   Serves 4.

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