It was a dark and stormy night… no, really it was. There was a lot of wind, blowing snow, and I was not in the mood to dine out with my P.S. (Personal Shopper/ hubby). I had a head of cauliflower that needed to be used and a desire for soup. But I was lazy so I searched the freezer for packets of frozen diced peppers and celery. Half of my work was done!
I love cauliflower but have never found a soup I liked that was mostly cauliflower. But cauliflower does plays well with others so if I throw in enough other vegetables, I end up with a soup we like. It’s mostly cabbage-like in flavor and I do add cabbage to many soups for that special touch.
I started my soup by dicing up some onion. I sautéed it with a drizzle of oil in a small soup pot.
When the onion was beginning to turn translucent I added the frozen peppers (yellow and red this time, any color would do) and the frozen celery. I freeze celery when it’s been around awhile in the fridge, complete with the leafy tops, for soup situations just like this. I let the peppers and celery thaw and cook for a few minutes.
I added garlic, letting it cook for a few minutes then added 4 cups of chicken broth to the pot.
Next I dug back into the freezer for the bags of diced ham I’d frozen after we cooked a large ham awhile back. It was about 3 cups or so of ham and perfect for this soup. I was beginning to wonder if I should name this Freezer Soup! I added the diced ham to the pot along with some chicken broth.
I added a couple of handfuls of diced potatoes to the pot of soup. I decided to call it “rustic” and left the peelings on, scrubbing them well before I diced them into about 3/4″ pieces. I let the soup come to a bubble then reduced the heat to medium low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
While the soup simmered I cored and chopped the head of cauliflower roughly into 1″ pieces. After the soup had simmered 10 minutes I added the cauliflower and a can of corn to the soup and again let it come to a boil. I reduced the heat and let it simmer another 20 minutes.
Finally I added about a cup of frozen peas, taste tested for seasoning and added salt and pepper to taste. When the peas were heated through the soup was done.
The soup had nice flavors: the ham added a smokiness to the broth and the vegetables were a nice blend. I often add cabbage to my soups for extra flavor and cauliflower being in the cabbage family lent a nice touch. It was delicious and satisfying. It was a good soup for a dark and stormy night.
Cauliflower Ham Soup
A hearty vegetable soup with ham using a head of cauliflower.
- 1 onion; diced
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 yellow sweet bell pepper; diced
- 1 red sweet bell pepper; diced
- 1/4 cup celery; diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic; mince
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 cups ham; cubed
- 3 cups potatoes; skin on, cubed
- 1 cauliflower; core removed and roughly chopped in 1″ pieces
- 1 can whole kernel corn
- 1 cup frozen peas
- salt and pepper as desired
Add broth, ham and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium low.
Add cauliflower and corn and again bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add frozen peas. Taste test for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired.
When peas are heated through, soup is ready!