A great way to use up leftover ham, this Cauliflower Soup with Ham and Cheese is cheesy and creamy and perfect for a cold night.
I always look forward to the first of the year. Just like I look forward to Mondays. It’s kind of that chance to start over, to get back on your schedule, to get things in order. As much as I love holidays and vacations, getting back into the normal swing of things is kind of refreshing to me.
Part of that getting back to “normal” for me is getting back to regular meal planning and cooking. December really threw me off – I was baking a lot more than normal (typical December) but then the holidays, combined with spending 5 days out of town last week – well, our dinner schedule kind of got out of whack. I’m headed to the grocery store today and I’m excited to be cooking every night this week.
One thing that I can’t wait to make again is this Cauliflower Soup with Ham and Cheese. I love, love, love cauliflower soup. If I’m eating out and they have cauliflower soup, it’s pretty much a given that I will order it. And for some reason, when I had some extra ham on hand last month, I had this idea come to me to add ham to cauliflower soup. Maybe I had potato soup on the brain (I love ham in potato soup!). Potato soup is white and creamy, cauliflower soup is white and creamy. And guess what? They both work so well with ham in them, as well!!
This Cauliflower soup was a great way to work through some of that mountain of ham I had. The soup alone is pretty amazing – creamy and silky and full of flavor. And then I love the layer of flavor that the ham adds. If you want to keep this soup vegetarian, you can totally omit the ham, but since we love our meat, we definitely loved that ham.
I made a double batch of this soup and put half in the freezer – I can’t wait to get it out another day to enjoy. This is a great soup recipe for a cold night. And a great way to ease yourself back into the kitchen!
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- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2½ lbs. chopped cauliflower florets
- 3 cups medium cheddar cheese
- 4 oz cubed, cooked ham
- In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for 30-60 seconds longer. Slowly whisk in the milk and the broth. Add the salt. Bring to a light simmer, then add the cauliflower. Cover the pot and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the soup pot.
- Stir in the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Stir in the ham and heat until the ham is heated through, then serve warm.
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