As eager as I am for warmer weather to get here, I’m trying to continue making the best of the cold by making delicious soups.  I made a recipe for cauliflower soup last winter as well, but while it was good, it just didn’t really wow me.  I knew this one would be a keeper before I even tried it because it is from Pioneer Woman, and thus far I have disliked exactly zero of her recipes.  The main difference between this and the other version I tried is that this has whole pieces of cauliflower, while the other was pureed.  I definitely prefer chunks of vegetables so this was right up my alley.  The flavor is just fantastic.  This makes a very large pot of soup, but I ate it every day for lunch the whole week after having it for dinner and was still sad when it was all gone.  And in case you need any suggestions, these honey yeast rolls truly make the perfect side for this soup.  Y-U-M!

Cauliflower Soup
7 tbsp. butter, divided
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 1/2 to 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and-half
2 bay leaves
2-4 tsp. salt, to taste
1 cup sour cream

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and stir them around for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to brown.  Add in the carrots and celery, stir, and cook for about 1 minute.   Add in the cauliflower and the fresh parsley and stir.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let simmer 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Pour in the chicken broth, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.  Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat and let simmer.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Pour the whole milk into a separate bowl.  Add the flour to the bowl and whisk together.  As soon as the butter is melted, pour in the milk/flour mixture and whisk to combine.  The mixture should thicken into a white sauce.  Once thickened, whisk in the half-and-half.  Then pour the whole mixture into the simmering soup.  Add bay leaves to the pot, as well as the salt.  Let the mixture simmer 15-20 minutes.  

Just before serving, remove the soup from the heat.  Mix in sour cream and stir until completely incorporated.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman