Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Crockpot Soup with Potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower

It's weird how some days I can spend so much time cooking, and other days I have no time at all and want something quick. We have pizza once a week just because, but the other six nights its something homemade, unless we get invited to someone elses place. If it's my brother CC, then we get some aged beef on the barbecue, and it's delicious! If it's at either of my daughters' place, we get a big green salad with something I probably made and brought over, like lasagna, because I don't want them have to go to any trouble or expense.

This vessel right here is my favorite cooking appliance
Made this the other night. Have about half leftover.
Anyway, today I am off work, and my husband is at work. Perfect day to clean house, right? Uh huh. So here I am, watching Hoda and Kathie Lee and blogging about food. I don't get another fresh vegetable box delivered from SLO Veg until Monday, so I am using what I have. A survey of the frig shows some leftover mashed potatoes, some butternut squash pasta (Taylor really loves it and will eat it today for his lunch, or breakfast, or brunch, or whatever you call it when someone wakes up and eats midday), and a half of a whole roasted cauliflower and three carrots. It was part a great fish and veggie dinner the other night, but just the hub and I were home, so there was a lot left. (Hardest part of meal planning is knowing for sure how many eaters I might have.) Hmmm...I could just throw the potatoes and the cauliflower into the crock pot and in three or four hours I will have Roasted Cauliflower and Potato soup, right? Right! 

I browse Pinterest for a few recipes and decide I am right on track. There a dozens of pins for cauliflower soup which must be all the rage right now. Most are substituting cauliflower for potatoes in hopes of have a slightly more healthy cream soup. But after talking with a dietician this week, my hub (who has been advised to monitor his blood sugar levels) and I learned that a carb is a carb is a carb. Blood sugars fluctuate more from carbs than anything else. Portion size is the key. A small potato is one carb serving. A giant potato equal three or four carb servings. One carbohydrate serving equals 15 grams of carbohydrates. She said everyone is different, so some people may tolerate one source of carbs better than the next person. She said just count your carbs--four servings allowed per meal, one for snacks. Beer counts as carbs. And cheese is a protein. Done. That was easy.

Literally just threw it all in the crock pot
So, back to the soup, where I have a big head start in using leftover roasted vegetables. I dumped in the container of potatoes, the half head of cauliflower, the three roasted carrots, some chopped red onion and two cloves of mashed garlic. Then I added two cups of chicken broth that I had stashed in the freezer. After looking at some other recipes, I might add some Dijon mustard and hot sauce for a little spike. I will blend it together with an immersion blender and stir in some shredded cheese until it all melts. I have some in the frig that is a mix of cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. I checked out my plastic storage containers, which all have measurements listed on them. The potato container is four cups. There is about 2 cups worth of cauliflower there. One half cup of cooked vegetables counts as one carb, so it all depends of how many cups of soup we consume. Two cups of soup is the whole meal, or one and a half cups of soup plus one beer. Its interchangeable. That's it. Soups on!

My soup was kind of chunky, but you can use an immersion blender to smooth it out if you like.
Here is the recipe I modeled from Aris Menu:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey dijon mustard 
  • 3-4 dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I used McClintocks)
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Add cauliflower and garlic to a very large baking dish. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake until browned and softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until tender and fragrant, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in mashed potatoes.
  4. Add cooked cauliflower and garlic scraping baking dish well into the pot. Add turmeric and curry powder, salt and pepper. Add mustard and hot sauce.
  5. Puree using an immersion blender, high quality stand blender (will likely need to do in batches), or food processor (will also likely require multiple batches. Return to heat and stir in cheese. Add extra salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week

Note: When Lee checked his blood sugar  2 hours after dinner, it was high. I might make this soup again without all the potatoes and see what the results will be.

Whole Dang Roasted Cauliflower

Posted on 1/21/15: I've got to make this Cauliflower recipe...tonight. I saw it a couple of weeks ago, and it has been haunting me!

I finally made that whole dang roasted cauliflower last week..and some carrots. I was going to make it with the pristine white head of cauliflower that came in our box one week ago. Then I procrastinated, forgot about it, and didn't make it until three or four days later. My cauliflower had a few brownish spots by that time, but it was just that, no mold, (sometimes they get black moldy spots if you don't use them soon enough) so I covered it with the sauce and it was glorious. See, the whole thing gets smeared with a spicy yogurt and roasted in the oven for 35-40 minutes, making a tasty golden yogurt crust on the cauliflower. I coated some fresh whole carrots with olive oil and sprinkled them with coarse sea salt and roasted them right alongside. Delish-e-o-so!

I found the roasted cauliflower recipe in Shape magazine, so eat it and it will make you fit and trim, got it? (Well, we try! I think they meant for us to actually try the exercises, too.) On this night, I paired the cauliflower with some pan-fried fresh swordfish, roasted carrots and mushroom quinoa. The fish was dipped in a seasoned flour and pan friend in butter and olive oil, then topped with a butter sauce consisting of the pan drippings, sea salt and pepper, grated lemon peel, lemon juice, chopped parsley and minced garlic. I swear I would have eaten the entire head of cauliflower, if not for all the other foods on my plate. Confession: I didn't finish all of my delicious shark...and the quinoa was another story. I had to toss out my thyme seasoning that I put into the quinoa dish, along with the entire dish, because I think the thyme went moldy. It sure tasted that way, anyhow. Yuck! Okay, let's go back to the cauliflower.

Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.
2. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.
4. Smear the cauliflower with the yogurt sauce.
5. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.
6. Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedge.

You should really check out the link and look at the photo from the magazine, because mine do not do justice. Its really pretty. When you want to impress some dinner guests, this is what you should make. Here is the link, again.