simple weeknight chicken soup

simple weeknight chicken soup

simple weeknight chicken soupSo, I’m back, well sort of. I’ve realized during this brief hiatus that I really missed my blog and I really missed all of you.  This blog is a part of me and a part of me that I don’t want to quit or give up on just yet.  I’m a person who loves to share with people, sharing just makes me happy, so I’m going to keep sharing with you all my recipes as well as my journey. There are a lot of changes going on in my life right now, some changes that are amazing and others that are difficult, so I don’t know the frequency of how often I will post, it may just be two times a month or it could be more, I’m just going to play it day by day.

I also wanted to also say a huge THANK YOU to you all.  I was amazed by all of your supportive comments, emails and for those of you that came up to me in person and shared what you loved about the blog. I didn’t realize how many wonderful and loyal readers I had, and I want to thank you all for reaching out these past few weeks. Each one of your comments and emails really touched my heart, and made me realize that I truly have a real audience of readers who were going through the same life struggles as me.  We’re all on this journey of life together, and we’re here to support and love one another and I truly feel supported and loved by you all, so THANK YOU!   I will slowly share my journey with you all over time, but for now, I’m just wanted to share with you all this simple and easy weeknight chicken soup that has quickly become a family favorite.

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sweet potato and chipotle soup

sweet potato and chipotle soup

sweet potato and chipotle soupI know it’s not exactly soup season anymore as spring is in full swing and summer is around the corner, but for me, it’s soup season anytime of year. I mean, my all time favorite soup is my heirloom tomato soup, which is basically a summer and early fall soup. I make batches upon batches of that soup and don’t mind making it in 90-degree heat, because it’s that good. I wasn’t planning on posting anymore soup recipes for the season, but I saw this recipe in Gwyneth’s new cookbook and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I made it up, and was happy that I did.

This soup is wonderfully creamy, but without the cream, as it’s dairy free and vegan to boot. Woo hoo! I love that it’s made with simple whole-food ingredients and most of them I already had stocked in my pantry, besides the sweet potatoes that is. The soup is sweet and creamy but with a spicy kick to it from the chipotle. John and I loved this soup. The kids liked it, but it’s not their favorite soup. They seemed to like it a bit more when I threw on some homemade croutons, as they liked having that extra texture.

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easy skillet sausage and white bean stew

easy skillet sausage and white bean strew

DSC_0034-3Let’s face it, we’re all busy, and coming home at the end of a hectic weekday and cooking up an elaborate meal is not really anyones’ idea of fun. We’re not living in June Cleaver reality here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun cooking up a nice meal when there’s time, (like the weekend) but on most weeknights I prefer to keep things simple, tasty and quick.  This stew fits that bill. This is an easy one-skillet, one-bowl weeknight meal. It can be made in approximately 30 minutes (give or take a few) and you only dirty up one pan, yes you heard me right, one pan, oh, and a cutting board (but that doesn’t really count).

When I made up this stew for the first time, I have to admit that I was a bit nervous that my kids were not going to like it.  I mean it’s basically a stew comprised of beans, onions, spinach and some sausage. Well, I’m happy to say that they loved this stew.  They were definitely part of the clean plate club, as every last ounce of stew was gone (slurped up by their bread). John loved this stew as well, and had leftovers the next night and said they were even better.  I loved it because it tasted great, but even more so because it was a one-bowl meal, and I only had one pan to clean up afterwards.  Easy, healthy and simple dinners like this make me one happy mama.

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Italian wedding soup

Italian wedding soup

Italian wedding soupI love this Italian wedding soup and I love Barefoot for supplying me with this recipe. I’ve seriously never had a bad recipe with Barefoot, honestly, every recipe that I’ve tried from her turns out great. Maybe we’re kindred spirits or something, but I get her cooking, and I like it.  I have her new book, Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust, on my Christmas wish list, and I’m hoping that Santa delivers me a copy.  

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heirloom tomato soup

heirloom tomato soup (1 of 1)-3

heirloom tomato soup (1 of 1)-3Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had one of those dishes that stands out so much that you remember it and crave it years later?  Well, this soup is one of those dishes.  My girlfriends and I went to Calistoga for a girls weekend a few years back, and we stayed at the Solage resort in Calistoga.  It was such a luxurious and fun filled weekend.  The resort’s restaurant, Solbar, is amazing.  Everything on its menu is seasonal, local, organic and scrumptious.  We all had a cup of this soup and our taste buds were in heaven. We all kept commenting that we couldn’t believe there wasn’t any cream in the soup, because it tasted so creamy.

I have been searching for this recipe and thanks to Pinterest, I found it.  How strange and lucky is that? Someone had actually pinned a copy of this recipe.  Anyway, I found it and re-created it. Some of the instructions were a bit confusing, so I asked my brother-in-law (he’s a chef) to sort it out for me, and I simplified it for you all.

This soup is vegan, pure and made with such simple and fresh ingredients. It’s creamy without the cream, and it honestly doesn’t taste like your typical tomato soup, as its sweeter and not acidic.  The only downside with this soup is that it’s a seasonal soup. Heirloom tomatoes are typically in season from August through the end of October, so I recommend making this soup now!

heirloom tomato soup (1 of 1)

heirloom tomato soup:

recipe slightly adapted from Solbar at Solage Resort
makes 6 portions
printer friendly version

  • 1 yellow onion, medium dice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided - you will use 1/4 cup twice in the recipe
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 springs of fresh marjoram or fresh oregano - I couldn’t find fresh marjoram so I used oregano, as it’s a similar tasting herb
  • 2 garlic cloves, microplaned – see how to microplane garlic below in post
  • 5 overripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and large chunked
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Prep all your ingredients.  Wash your herbs, chop up your onion, peel your garlic and core your tomatoes.

Not sure how to core a tomato? Check out the step-by-step photos below. Pretty simple, right?  Below are how your tomatoes should look when they are all cored.Chop up your tomatoes into large chunks.Take your bunch of basil, your 4 sprigs of thyme and 4 sprigs of oregano or marjoram, and tie them up together with some kitchen twine.  

I would actually loop the twine around a few more times than I did, and tie it in a tighter knot.The recipe asks for the garlic to be microplaned.  To microplane garlic, all you need to do is get a cheese grater and rub the peeled garlic against it to grate it.Heat 1/4 cup olive oil, the diced onion and herb bunch in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium low heat, until the onion is soft, tender and translucent, but not browned.

You’re basically sweating the onion here.
Here’s a photo of the softened onions and herbs.
You can see that I should have tied my herbs together better.Stir in the garlic and quickly add the tomatoes and 1/2 tablespoon of salt.Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes are broken down.  Make sure you occasionally stir the tomatoes.

Remove the herbs.  Stir in the 1-teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and the 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Turn off the heat.
Puree the soup either using a hand held immersion blender or a regular blender.If you’re using a blender, return the soup to the pot after your puree it.

Keep warm until ready to serve.  Below is the finished product, doesn’t it look yummy?The kids rated this soup a 10+ and Zoe begged me to serve it to her for lunch the next day.  I packed some for her along with a popover and some fruit.This tomato soup is a bit sweeter than my creamless tomato soup, and tastes so fresh, because honestly all the ingredients are fresh.  You will also have to convince yourself and your guests that there is no cream in this soup, because it tastes so creamy.

My kids were never big soup fans till I started cooking them more. I think it takes a while for kids to get use to soups.  Soups are one of those dishes that look intimidating, but honestly, they are one of the easiest dishes to make.  I paired this soup for lunch the next day with half of a bagel topped with cream cheese and an heirloom tomato.  It was delish!I served it another day with a beet and kale salad.

This soup pairs well with just about anything.

carrot ginger soup with homemade croutons

carrot ginger soup with homemade croutons

carrot ginger soup with homemade croutonsI was sitting down for breakfast Friday morning and received an email from my friend Carolyn raving about this carrot ginger soup that she had made for her family the night before. She said I had to try it. Carolyn is an amazing cook, actually so amazing, that she could have her own cooking show.  So, when she recommends a recipe to me, I trust that it’s going to be wonderful. I was already planning on making this miso-garlic and tofu salad for lunch and knew this soup would be the perfect compliment.

I know what your thinking, carrot soup?  How boring!!  Well, actually, this soup is not boring at all!  It’s rich and creamy (without the cream) with a hint of sweetness. My kids loved it and said I need to definitely make it again.  They also said to be sure to make the croutons as well.

This is another pantry soup like my creamless tomato soup.  If you have a well-stocked pantry then you should have most of the ingredients on hand.  The only thing that I had to run out and pick up was the sweet onion.  Another thing I love about this soup, is that it’s cream-less and vegetarian. Bonus!

carrot ginger soup with homemade croutons

carrot ginger soup:

Recipe from Food 52

  • 6 to 8 large carrots (about 1 3/4 pounds) - I used 8 carrots and actually weighed them at the grocery store to make sure I had 1 3/4 pound
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cups good quality vegetable stock – I did not have any homemade veggie stock on hand, but I used the boxed variety and it tasted great.
  • 1 inch long piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 of a large sweet onion, chopped - these onions are light yellow in color and will be labeled sweet onion at your grocery store. They can also be called vidalia onions.
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper                                                                         
Prep all of your ingredients.  Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into a measuring cup.  Peel your piece of ginger (to peel your ginger, just take the tip of a spoon and scrape the skin off), chop up your garlic, chop up your onion half and peel and cut up your carrots into 1/2-inch rounds.  
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On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil (take this from your 1/4 cup) and sprinkle generously with salt.
Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches (I set mine 6 inches from the top) from the heat source and turn on the broiler.  
Broil the carrots until they brown and soften, turning them over with a pair of tongs or a spatula every 5 minutes or so.  This should take about 15-20 minutes.  Once your carrots have cooked, set them aside to cool.  Meanwhile (while your carrots are cooking), pour your 6 cups of vegetable stock into a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once the stock has come to a boil, add your piece of ginger and thyme and simmer gently for 15 minutes. 
When the stock has 12 minutes left to simmer, take the remaining olive oil and heat it up in a dutch oven (or whatever soup pan you normally use) over medium heat.  Add the onion and brown it over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 12-15 minutes. Tip: I always start cooking the onions when the stock has 12 minutes left to simmer, that way my onions aren’t done before my stock has finished simmering.  
DSC_0001See the workstation I set up!  So pretty.

DSC_0006Don’t be afraid to brown the onion up.  It smells and tastes amazing in the soup.

DSC_0011 Once your onions have browned, add the garlic and let it cook for about a 30 seconds, and then add the carrots.
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Remove the ginger and thyme from the stock and add the stock to the pot with the onions and carrots. Bring to boil and then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the carrots are soft enough to puree. 
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Puree the soup until smooth using either a hand held immersion blender or a standard blender.  I usually wipe down the soup pot while the soup is pureeing.  Return the pureed soup to the pot.  

I actually used my vitamix blender here because I wanted a really smooth soup.  I was able to pour all the soup into my blender in one batch.

If the soup seems too thick (mine was perfect just the way it was), add more stock or water and reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.   

Now onto the croutons!          

      
Homemade Croutons:
  • 2 slices country-style bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes - I used some leftover ciabatta bread that I had used for panini’s on Monday
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil – or more if you need it
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt – I usually just throw a pinch of salt in
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper – I actually don’t measure out my pepper, I just twist the pepper grinder a few times.
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.  Slice up your bread and then cut it into 1/2 inch cubes.
 

In a medium bowl, add the oil, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Toss in the bread cubes and mix to combine.
Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  
Bake for approximately 12 to 14 minutes making sure to turn the bread two to three times during baking, until the croutons are browned and crisp.
The croutons can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.  
Ladle up the soup into individual bowls and top with homemade croutons.  The crunchy croutons absorb the flavors of the soup and taste amazing!
carrot ginger soup with homemade croutons

creamless tomato soup

creamless tomato soup
creamless tomato soup
Folks, I posted this recipe in the first couple of weeks of my blog, but I wanted to reintroduce it to you all because it’s literally my favorite go-to soup.  I call it my 30 minute soup as it really only takes 30 minutes to make.  As Barefoot would say, “how easy is that?”  This is not a barefoot recipe though, this recipe is from Cooks Illustrated.

I love this soup because it’s easy to make and you can get a few meals out of it.  I usually whip up a batch on the weekend when I know I am going to have a busy week and need that quick go-to meal.  It’s also a great pantry soup that you can whip up at the last minute because it only takes 30 minutes to cook and the ingredients are usually something you will already have on hand at home!This soup fills 2 large storage containers so I always put one in the freezer for those last minute meals or for a nice weekend lunch.

I have found it to be convenient to have my freezer and refrigerator stocked with healthy pre-cooked meals that I can take out when I am to lazy to cook or when we have a busy night and there is no time to cook.  Soups are also great for those nights when people are eating at different times because you can just have a big pot simmering on the stove and people can help themselves when they are ready to eat.

Another reason I love this soup is because it uses bread instead of cream to thicken it.  I know white bread isn’t the healthiest option either, but it tastes so good in this soup, and it is only 3 pieces.  You could also throw in some sourdough bread if you want to make it a bit healthier.  My kids love this soup and they are not soup kids, so I am sure your pickiest eaters will love this as well.

creamless tomato soup

Creamless Tomato Soup:

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated.

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 3 large slices of good quality sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth – if you want this to be a vegetarian soup, you can use vegetable broth

I love this brand of tomatoes below.

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into a measuring cup.  Take 2 tablespoons of oil from this and heat it up in a Dutch oven (or whatever soup pan you normally use) over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion, garlic and bay leaf.  Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and their juice.  Using potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain.

 This is what it should look like after the tomatoes are mashed.Stir in the brown sugar and bread; bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes.  The bread will look like this.VERY IMPORTANT STEP HERE, Remove and discard bay leaf.  Please remember to take your bay leaf out before you puree your soup.  I forgot to once and I had to go through the soup and find all the tiny pieces and take them out.  It was a hassle and took some time, so I am very anal about remembering this step now!

Puree the soup using either a handheld immersion blender or a blender.  If using a blender, transfer half of soup to a blender.  Add 1 tablespoon oil and process until soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.  Transfer to large bowl and repeat with the remaining soup and oil.  I always wipe down my pan when I’m pureeing the soup so that I don’t have leftover bits of onion or such in the pan.

If you’re using an immersion blender, then add all the remaining olive oil to the soup and blend away until your soup is creamy and smooth.

Once your soup has been pureed, stir in your chicken broth.  Return soup to a boil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

It’s that easy folks!

creamless tomato soupServe up the soup in individual bowls and add a crusty bread on the side or a yummy grilled cheese panini sandwich, that’s what we do in our house.

It’s a perfect winter or fall soup that the whole family can and will enjoy.
Do you have a favorite go-to soup?

Rustic Bakery’s roasted butternut squash soup

Rustic Bakery's butternut squash soup

Rustic Bakery's butternut squash soupI have a few favorite local lunch spots that my girlfriends and I frequent often when we want to have a ladies lunch, Marin style.  Marin style means it’s all about being casual when going to lunch to meet your friends.  It’s really about the conversation and food, not the stuffiness of having to get all dressed up or look a certain way, who wants to do that?  Marin is a laid-back, easygoing community, and that is why I love it so.

One of our favorite lunchtime spots is Rustic Bakery in Larkspur.  This is not just a bakery but also an amazing breakfast and lunch cafe. They have some of the most magnificent salads, sandwiches and baked goods.  Everything at the cafe is made with local and organic ingredients.

I was a happy girl when I picked up a copy of Organic Marin from my local library and saw one of my favorite soup recipes from Rustic Bakery inside.  I was excited to go home and re-create this soup for my family and I to have for lunch over the weekend.  

Rustic Bakery’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup:

Recipe from Organic Marin

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved and seeded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to rub on squash halves
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to rub on squash halves
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
 Chop up your onion and shallots and set aside in a bowl.  Cut your squash in half.
 Scoop out the seeds and strings from the cavity.  I use my melon ball scooper to do this, as it’s quick and easy.  Rub the olive oil over the cut sides of the squash and season each with salt and pepper.
 Put 2 sprigs of thyme and 3 garlic cloves in each in each cavity.  Doesn’t the squash look so pretty?
Then carefully place the squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet.
Roast the squash for 50 to 60 minutes, until soft and caramelized.
Remove the squash from the oven and let cool.
Reserve the garlic cloves and discard the thyme.
 Scoop the butternut squash flesh from the skin, coarsely chop (just chop it with a spoon in the bowl as it will be soft), and set aside.
Melt the 3 tablespoons butter in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat.
Sauté the onion and shallots for 7 to 10 minutes, until they begin to brown.
Add the roasted butternut squash, the reserved garlic cloves, 1/2-teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper (or just add a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper grinder, that is what I do) and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the squash begins to caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pan.
Note: Break up the squash with your spoon and stir it frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Pour in the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Puree the soup until smooth using either a hand held immersion blender, or puree in small batches using a blender then return the soup to the pot.
Stir in the 1/4-cup cream.

DSC_0082Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed.

 This soup was very flavorful, rich and delicious.  It actually tasted better day two, as the flavors had a chance to mesh together.Rustic Bakery's butternut squash soupI paired it up with my kale salad and these crispy olive oil and sea salt crackers from Rustic Bakery.  You don’t always have to go out to lunch to have a gourmet lunch experience.  It’s nice to sometimes treat yourself to a gourmet lunch at home either by yourself or with a few close friends.

roasted red pepper and tomato soup

roasted red pepper and tomato soup
roasted red pepper and tomato soupOK, I admit, I am on a soup kick lately.  I love that I can make soup ahead of time and then re-heat it later for dinner or for lunch throughout the week.  Soup is just so uncomplicated, pure and so darn easy to make. Once you make a homemade soup, you will never go back to the canned variety.

I’ve been trying to eat seasonally and take advantage of all these amazing vegetables that are available right now.  While I was at the market the other day, I noticed these beautiful, enormous, organic red bell peppers.   We love red bell peppers raw, but have never tried them in a soup, so I was ready to experiment.  I’m so glad that I did because this soup was amazing.  It’s silky in texture and tastes honestly like roasted red peppers, hence the name.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup:

recipe from Dinner with Julie

  • 4 red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise with seeds and membranes scooped out 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme - if using fresh thyme, make sure it’s chopped
  • 1 14oz. can diced or whole tomatoes, undrained – I used diced tomatoes
  • 1 liter (4 1/4 cups) vegetable stock or chicken stock- I used vegetable stock
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup sour cream (optional) - I added a little less than 1/2 cup here 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Wash the peppers and then cut them in half lengthwise.Cut the stem off with a pairing knife and scoop out all the seeds and membranes.  I use a melon baller to scoop out the seeds and membranes.Place the peppers cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Roast the peppers in the pre-heated 450 degree oven for about 25 minutes; until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, rotating the sheet if necessary for them to cook evenly.  Below is what mine looked like after 25 minutes.Let the peppers cool for a minute or two, and then remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a bowl, cover the bowl with foil or a plate, and let them cool for about 30 minutes. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard them, dropping the peppers back into the bowl.  In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add in the chopped thyme, tomatoes with their juice, and chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.Add the red peppers along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes.  Make sure to stir the soup every so often.After the soup has cooked for 20 minutes, add in the sour cream and some salt and pepper to taste. The soup is going to look a bit curdled here until you puree it. Puree with either a hand-held immersion blender or transfer soup to a blender and pulse until smooth.  

If you’re using a blender to puree the soup, make sure to wipe out the pot before adding back the soup.  Turn the heat to low and heat the soup through.  Give the soup a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, serve warm. 

roasted red pepper and tomato soupServe the soup up with some popovers, some yummy bread or some warmed nann bread.  Enjoy!

cauliflower soup

cauliflower soup
cauliflower soup
Its fall people and that means its time for to bring out those yummy comfort soups!  I made this soup yesterday, as I had a head of cauliflower that had to be used up.  This soup was super easy to whip up and required only 5 ingredients.  How easy is that?

I love this soup because it’s a creamy soup without the cream!  The cauliflower makes its taste creamy, so its warm and comforting without all that fat!  My family rates this soup a 10+.  My kids ask for this soup as when the weather starts turning cool.  I often serve this up with some couscous cakes or chickpea veggie burgers
cauliflower soup

Cauliflower Soup:

recipe from Smitten Kitchen
  • 1 medium sized head cauliflower - If you get to large of a head, then you may want to add a bit more chicken stock.
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped – I used a yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock - I used chicken stock – Note:  if you use vegetable stock your soup will look browner than my photo, but it will taste the same
  • 1/2 cup finely grated or shredded Parmesan
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower and then rinse it.  I love rinsing my veggies in this strainer, especially when there is a lot to rinse at once.  
Coarsely chop the cauliflower and set it aside (coarsely chop means to just cut up the vegetable in random sizes).  The below photo is not that exciting, but you can see how the cauliflower is all different shapes and sizes.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat.  Once the oil is heated, add the onion and garlic.  Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5-8 minutes.
Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a boil. 
Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15-20 minutes.

Below is how it should look.Remove from heat and, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small batches in a blender and return it to the pot. 

Tip:  If you’re using a blender, wipe out or use a spatula to get all the leftover pieces out of the pot, so you have a nice clean pot for the soup puree.  
Add the Parmesan and stir until smooth.  Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.  Keep warm until ready to serve.  Below is the finished product, doesn’t it look yummy?Top each bowl with a bit of parmesan and some freshly ground pepper.  I sometimes top the soup with some chopped fresh chives, and it tastes amazing, so give it a try sometime.

cauliflower soupI love making my soups on the weekends or during the day while the kids are at school, and then storing them till dinnertime or later that week.  It just makes dinner that much easier when all you have to do is re-heat some soup and add some warm crusty bread or a pre-made chickpea burger or couscous cake!