This chilly time of year, a big pot of homemade soup can be so comforting. TPS is away on business to DC & Philadelphia, so having soup in the fridge makes for easy solo dinners too. This is just the easiest thing to make, and it is so hearty and satisfying.
Cut up 2 whole heads of cauliflower and put on a baking sheet. Do the same with 6 good sized Yukon Gold potatoes. Sprinkle both with a heavy dose of extra virgin olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven, moving things around every 15 minutes so things don’t stick or burn. The cauliflower will take about a half hour, the potatoes close to an hour. Much depends on the size you cut the pieces into, so check the oven often. You want both to get nice and golden. This adds tremendously to the flavor of the soup. Set both aside when done to cool.
While the above is in the oven, cut up one large onion into small pieces and cook in extra virgin olive oil on the stovetop in a big soup pot. Cook until they just start to golden. Set aside off heat to cool.
Cut up a baguette into pieces, put in a baking dish and sprinkle with EVOO and S&P. Bake in oven until brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stay with these guys–they can get too dark fast. When done take out of oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and set aside.
Back to the soup. Now that everything has cooled a bit to the touch, add 90% of both the cauliflower and the potatoes to the pot of waiting onions. Add vegetable or chicken stock, from a box is completely fine, with homemade lovely if you have it. Put in enough stock to just barely cover the mixture. Now with an immersion blender (we got ours at Bartell’s for twenty bucks–I can’t say enough about this amazing device for soup making) carefully pulse the wand in the mixture, turning all of it into a thick soup. It is so cool seeing it all mix together. Culinary magic of sorts. Once the consistency you like, now add the remaining 10% you held back. It will be nice to have some large pieces of cauliflower and potato strewn throughout. Now turn on the stovetop, heat on medium, until it is the warmth you like your soup. Spoon out into a bowl and add the baguette pieces to the top. Done. So hearty. So tasty.