To be completely honest, I’m feeling a bit down today. I came home from vacation with a sinus infection, and it’s pretty soul-crushing. I talked a little bit about my history of chronic sinus infections and my decision to finally have surgery in this post. Of course, there were no guarantees that I wouldn’t get any more sinus infections, but my surgeon did say they would be less frequent and less severe after the surgery.
That’s why, less than two months after surgery, I’m kind of bummed out. I specifically scheduled the surgery prior to vacation, so that I wouldn’t get sick on the trip. But still, the last two days of the trip, I was starting to go downhill. Now, I’m home and I don’t feel well, but I need to get back to work after being “out of the office” for two weeks. I have lots to do, but had to spend most of yesterday napping on the couch with Isabella Woofellini (yes, I gave her a new Italian name). The only thing that makes me feel better is playing the blame game on all of the second-hand smoke I ingested in Italy. Hopefully, that was the freak occurrence that caused this infection, and in general, my health will be on the upswing after this hurdle.
Well, one other thing is making me feel better. The fact that I somehow had the foresight to make a huge batch of this Cauliflower Cordon Bleu Soup before my trip, and freeze some. You know, just in case I came home with the post-vacation blues. This soup is a puree of cauliflower and chicken stock with a little bit of potato, and a touch of cream produced by members of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. I took some loose inspiration from chicken cordon bleu and topped each bowl with crispy prosciutto (you can also use bacon) and shredded swiss cheese. A touch of sliced green onion adds color and even more flavor.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cauliflower head, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 8 ounces prosicutto, thinly sliced
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces shredded swiss cheese
- In large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add cauliflower, potato, stock and water; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until cauliflower and potatoes are tender.
- In batches, puree soup mixture in blender until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot; stir in cream, lemon juice, cayenne and nutmeg. Simmer over medium-low heat 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat large skillet over medium heat. In batches if necessary, add prosicutto and cook 4 to 6 minutes until crisp. Transfer to paper towel.
- Serve soup topped with crispy prosciutto, green onions and cheese.
Note: This makes a BIG pot of soup. If you'd like, you can either halve or quarter the recipe, or make the full recipe and freeze what you don't eat right away. If you go the freezing route, I would suggest reducing the amounts of the prosciutto, cheese and green onion garnishes for the first time you serve it, then preparing these garnishes again, fresh, for when you serve the frozen/thawed soup later on.
Disclosure: This post is part of an ongoing relationship I have with The United Dairy Industry of Michigan for recipe development. Posts like this help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.