1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
5 strips center cut bacon
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
3 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 cup aged, sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup milk or cream
salt and pepper to taste
Heat your oven to 400º F. Toss the cauliflower florets with the 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Spread the florets out on a cookie sheet and roast, about 20 minutes, until they start to brown and have softened.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet on the stove top. Remove the bacon when crisp, and drain on some paper towels. Keep the remaining bacon grease in the skillet and add the diced onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens.
Add the garlic and thyme to the onions, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Scrape the onion/garlic mixture into a large saucepan.
When the cauliflower is done, place the florets in the saucepan with the onions and garlic. Add the broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat. Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare your toasts. Slice up some crusty bread, lay it on a cookie sheet and brush each slice with some olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
After 20 minutes, puree the soup using an immersion blender (or you can use a regular blender, just do it in batches and return it to the pot).
Stir in the cheese, stirring until melted completely.
Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toast the bread slices in the oven for just a couple of minutes, until they start to brown a bit.
Serve the soup with the toast slices and sprinkle each bowl of soup with some of the crisped up bacon.
bacon recipe source: Christine Carlisle, Chew Nibble Nosh (@chewnibblenosh), October 17, 2012