Cauliflower Cheddar Chowder…low carb and delicious!

If you enjoyed the low carb side dish we made over the campfire this summer,  recipe for that here, http://campingcapers.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/camping-side-dish-loaded-cauliflower/

you are going to LOVE this recipe!

I started playing around with the idea that, if cauliflower is a good substitute for potatoes in that recipe, perhaps it would be just as good in the loaded baked potato soup that I love to make in winter. I made a cauliflower soup using a soup starter, earlier, and though it was good, I can’t say that I loved it. Guess what! I loved this one! I only wish I had thought of it last week when the temps were below zero and the ground covered with snow and ice.

Today’s beautiful sunshine did not make this one bit less tasty, and the bacon and garlic made the house smell wonderful.

I started with 8 slices of bacon, which I chopped and put in the bottom of my soup pan to brown. Let me stop here and add that, next time, I will cook the bacon in my skillet and transfer it to the soup pan. It stuck to the bottom of my pan a bit and didn’t brown as thoroughly as I like. It was still fine. I added two cloves of garlic (chopped) and a stalk of diced celery, and about a fourth of a cup of chopped onion after the bacon had browned a bit.

DSC00005I stirred constantly until the garlic and celery were translucent and the bacon was nice and brown. I sat that aside while I steamed a head of cauliflower. I did it stove top, but you can easily use your veggie steamer or microwave. When the cauliflower was tender, I mashed it with a fork. I didn’t want to puree it because I wanted little chunks like potato chowder.

DSC00007Next, I moved the bacon back onto the burner and added the cauliflower. When it was all mixed together and heating, I poured in one and three fourths cups of chicken broth, a cup of milk, and a cup of heavy whipping cream. For potato soup, I use all milk, but replacing one cup of milk with the cream cut the few carbs in half! And it helps with thickening. When that was heated and smelling really good, I added 2 cups of shredded cheddar, salt and freshly ground pepper, stirring until the cheese melted.

I garnished with a  green onions and a few bacon bits I had reserved, and BAM! That’s all, folks. Easy, fast, and really, really good.

DSC00009Here’s the recipe in a nutshell:

Cauliflower Cheddar Chowder

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower-steamed and mashed

8 slices bacon-cooked and crumbled (reserve a Tbs. grease and a few bacon crumbles)

2 cloves garlic-chopped

1 or 2 stalks celery-diced

1/4 to 1/2 half chopped onion, depending upon taste

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups shredded cheddar

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook bacon, remove from skillet, drain and crumble. In a large soup pan, saute garlic, celery and onion in a tablespoon of the grease from the bacon. Add the mashed cauliflower and most of the crumbled bacon to the garlic mixture and heat together. Add chicken broth, milk, and heavy cream. Cook until soup is hot but not boiling. Add Cheddar, salt and freshly ground pepper and continue to heat and stir until cheese has melted. Garnish with the reserved bacon bits and sliced green onion on top.

 

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