A case in point against the notion that a good soup can be made by tossing ingredients into a pot and simmering. Here several cooking methods are combined to bring out the richness of each ingredient.
– 1 cauliflower, cored and chopped
– whole milk and/or creamy oat milk
– cheese of your preference, but not one that melts gooey (like mozzarella), shredded.
-1/2 cup dry artisan cider or white wine
– 1 tsp onion powder
– 2 chopped scallions
Sautée cauliflower in 4 tbsp of butter at med. heat, tossing to prevent browning, till tender. Add cider, allow it to evaporate, then add onion powder and just enough lightly salted water to cover cauliflower, cover and simmer for 15 min. Check for mashability, continue to simmer until soft enough to fully purée. Remove from burner and leave uncovered to cool.
Melt 3 tbsp butter in a skillet at med. heat. Stir-in 2 tbsp of flour to make a paste and keep stirring and flipping with a wooden spatula to cook evenly,without browning, for two minutes. Add enough milk to fully dissolve the paste, Stirring constantly, dragging the spatula in a spiral from the center to the edge of the skillet and back to keep the bottom from sticking, burning and forming lumps. Turn flat side of spatula down with your wrist while stirring when needed to press and dissolve any lumps that do form. Stir-in milk or oat milk a little at at time, still stirring constantly,:to increase the volume of the cream sauce without watering it down. When no more milk can be added without thinning-down the sauce, stop adding any more and keep stirring the sauce until it is thick enough that when the spatula is dragged in a line it leaves a track that fills-in behind it. Remove from heat and cover.
Purée the cooled cauliflower and it’s cooking liquid till smooth, stir it into the cream sauce and cover.
Reheat before serving, adding milk as needed to achieve desired soup consistency. Garnish with chopped scallions.