Words, pictures, and recipe by Cara Nicoletti
Here’s a recipe as cozy and simple as your favorite flannel. This cheddar cauliflower soup is perfect for crisp fall weather, and pairs beautifully with the Dogfish Head x Woolrich spruce-infused pale ale, Pennsylvania Tuxedo. Cheddar cheese and cauliflower are both great partners to a pale ale—the bright hops of the beer help to cut through the cheese’s creaminess, and the cauliflower’s sweet earthiness brings out the same attributes in the beer. We’re adding spiced pepitas not only for texture, but also to highlight the beer’s warm spices.
Double Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
Makes 2 quarts (feeds 4 hungry people)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 small onions, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 lbs. cheddar cauliflower (two small heads), cored and de-stemmed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 cups chicken stock
- leaves of 5 thyme sprigs
- leaves of 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter and olive oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add garlic and onions and cook over medium heat until soft and golden-brown—about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower florets and cook 7-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is softened. Add heavy cream, chicken stock, thyme and rosemary and simmer lightly 10-15 minutes. Pour soup into a high-powered blender. NOTE: hot soup trapped in a blender can explode if the steam has nowhere to go—to solve this, cover the hole in the lid of a blender with a towel before blending.
Blend soup until very smooth (you will probably have to do this in two batches). Transfer soup from the blender into a bowl and stir in the shredded cheddar until it’s melted and incorporated throughout (if you want your soup to be extra smooth you can run it through a fine mesh sieve before mixing in the cheddar, but you will sacrifice some of the soup’s thickness and body if you do). Season soup with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with spicy pepitas (recipe follows).
Spicy Toasted Pepitas
Makes 1 cup
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup pepitas (raw green pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Add pepitas to egg white, and toss until coated. Mix dry spices together in a separate bowl, sprinkle over pepitas and toss to coat. Spread evenly on a baking sheet covered in parchment, and bake until golden brown (7-10 mins).
Cara Nicoletti (@caranicolleti) is the author of Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books (Little, Brown & co). She is a butcher by trade and writes the literary food blog Yummy-books.com. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and would be lost without her Woolrich Yankee Buck Boots.
Here’s a collection of cozy Woolrich creations that will keep you as warm as Cara’s cheddar cauliflower soup…