Whenever we go to Utah my kids have learned that we HAVE to stop at Zuppa’s. They have all kinds of soups, sandwiches and salads. Oh and everyone gets a chocolate dipped strawberry! I have a few favs there. But since I don’t live within 18 hours of any Zuppa’s I was forced to try to copycat as best as I can. This one my six year old was trying to describe this. “You know mom, the pinkish soup with the spice”…and when I finally made it, she was thrilled. It is a orangeish pinkish color from the red pepper. It’s also a great way to use that cauliflower that you always buy, but never use.
Cauliflower Cheese Soup
1 head cauliflower chopped into 2” pieces
4 cups chicken stock
1-2 leeks washed and diced small
1 red pepper diced small
2 Tbsp butter
dash cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups monetary jack cheese
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
Put cauliflower and chicken stock in large pot. On high heat bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until cauliflower is very tender and breaks apart with a fork. Pour cauliflower and stock into a heat proof bowl and set aside. In that same large pot melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks, red pepper, cayenne and nutmeg (you could also add a garlic clove here if you like too). Cook until pepper is soft and leeks are cooked down (about 5 minutes) stirring constantly. Add flour into pot and stir for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in stock and cauliflower whisking to stir out any lumps. Continue stirring to bring to a boil and soup will thicken. A few cups at a time put into blender and blend until smooth. Add back into pot (I don’t like my really smooth, but you can also put through a strainer if you don’t want any lumps, but I really like mine with texture). Add cheese and stir to melt. Turn off heat and add cream. Serves 6-8. Usually only 6 for us.
If you have never used leeks, this is a great way to start. They remind me of a big green onion. They do grow in the ground and usually have dirt in the layers. Cut all the darkest green off and the root end. Then slice down lengthwise. Under running water wash in between the layers to remove the dirt. Then slice again to quarter and then dice.
Here it is diced up with the red pepper….