Snow days always evoke a lot of emotions in people. Some feel the dread of shoveling, grey skies, and being stuck indoors. Others panic running out to the store to stock up on enough groceries to last them a month. Although the snowstorm may only have us home bound for a maximum of two days. Then there is the promise of no school, time to sleep, and sledding. I fall somewhere in-between. But of course above all a snow-day means a free day to cook and experiment. Which is exactly what I did!
I have long stayed away from cauliflower. To be honest the smell of it made me gag. But recently I have started to see cauliflower become the new “potato.” During a cooking class my husband and I attended at Stir in Boston I was turned onto a particular light and creamy cauliflower soup. Soon after that the soup and dishes such as mashed cauliflower started to intrigue me. Therefore, this snow day was my day to bond with cauliflower. Not only did we bond but I got to reintroduce this friend to my family.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 minutes. Add cauliflower pieces and cook until just beginning to brown, 12 minutes. Add broth and water; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, 20 minutes.
In batches, fill a blender halfway with mixture and puree until smooth (be careful blending hot liquids). Or use an immersion blender right in the pot! Blend to your desired consistency.
In a smaller pot melt 4 tablespoons and slowly add in the flour. Whisk together for about 2 minutes to get the raw flour taste out. Then turn off the heat and whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Season this mixture with the nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
Combine the cauliflower mixture and milk mixture together in the large pot. Stir to combine over medium heat. Then add in the parmesan and cheddar cheese. Stir to incorporate. Add salt and pepper to taste.
After the soup has warmed through you may serve it with fresh chopped chives sprinkled on top. If you are feeling fancy swirl a little truffle oil in if you have it on hand!