Are you ready for the holidays? I'm not so sure I'm on board yet... but since the world (aka the mall) has been thrusting it on me in full force since November 1st, I figure I might as well getwiththeprogram. I dug the twinkle lights out of the storage locker on the weekend and will hang them soon. A wreathe will go on the door, and stockings might be hung. As we are spending Christmas away, I am forgoing the tree this year. I just can't justify all the work when we wont be around to enjoy it, ya know?
Some say this makes me a Grinch. But I do love the holidays. I just also think that minimizing the stress/work this time of year is the best gift I can give myself. What about you? Has the decorating begun yet? What about the present shopping?
One holiday tradition I can totally get behind is the COOKIE situation. My mission this year is to spend as much time as I desire in my kitchen... apron on, spatula in hand, Mariah Carey blasting in the background. Now THAT sounds like a good time. Hopefully this will become a reality.
Between all the decorating, shopping, and baking, it can sometimes be overlooked that we all still need to eat dinner. And I'm pretty sure that once you've had coffee for breakfast, cookies for lunch and wine and peanut butter cups as a midday snack, the next natural step is to combine your vegetables with sour cream and cheese and call it dinner. Soup to the rescue. I whipped up this cozy, comforting single girl dinner last week and it was SO GOOD. It's velvety smooth and heavenly creamy. And come on, its CAULIFLOWER. I'm pretty sure that cancels out all the calories from the cream and cheese, right?
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan
Serves 4. Or one with leftovers ;)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
1 onion, diced small
2 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch of chili flakes, optional
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, drizzle with olive oil and add a spoonful of butter. When butter has melted throw in the onion and celery and saute until soft and opaque, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and chili and saute 1 or 2 minutes.
2. Add the cauliflower to the pot along with the stock. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer until cauliflower is softened, about 15-20 minutes.
3. Once the cauliflower is cooked, remove from heat and add the whole milk. Next, use an immersion blender to puree the soup until completely smooth. Be sure to cover the bowl with a towel to guard against any splashing, especially if the soup is still warm. If you don't have an immersion blender, you will need to transfer the soup to a traditional blender and puree in two separate batches.
4. Return soup to the pot if you transferred it to a blender. Turn heat back to medium-low. Stir in the sour cream, Parmesan, and salt & pepper to taste. Once the soup has returned to a simmer it is ready to go.
Drizzle with garlic infused oil and more cheese, if desired. Some fresh parsley would be lovely too. Serve with a side salad, some warm crusty bread, and perhaps a glass of wine for one.
Drinking out of a juice cup makes drinking alone totally acceptable. True story.