Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Comté Cheese and Frizzled Shallots
6 Cups cauliflower florets (1 medium-sized head cauliflower)
1 ½ Cups peeled & diced Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 large potato)
2 Tablespoons Seasons Herbs de Provence infused olive oil
2 Tablespoons Seasons Pinot Grigio wine vinegar
32 oz. organic chicken stock, preferably low sodium
1 Tablespoon Edmund Fallot Dijon mustard (available at Seasons)
1 ½ Cups grated Comté cheese (approx. 6 oz.)
½ Cup heavy cream (optional)
⅛ Teaspoon Seasons Pepe e aglio (black pepper blend), or to taste
1 Teaspoon Seasons Fleur de Sel (French sea salt), or to taste
1 large shallot, sliced and separated into rings
½ Cup Seasons Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking shallots
Optional Garnish: fennel pollen, poppy seeds, Seasons Herbs de Provence olive oil
To Roast the Cauliflower:
Preheat oven to 450˚ F then line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add cauliflower florets and diced potatoes. Drizzle with Herbs de Provence olive oil and toss well to combine. Roast for 10 minutes, then drizzle with Pinot Grigio wine vinegar and stir to combine. Roast for 10-15 minutes longer or until diced potatoes and cauliflower florets are soft and golden brown. Remove from oven.
To Prepare the Soup:
Place roasted cauliflower florets and diced potatoes in food processor with 2 cups of chicken stock and puree, adding more stock as necessary, until very smooth. Place any remaining stock in a large saucepan along with the cauliflower-potato puree. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Add Dijon mustard, Pepe e Aglio, Fleur de Sel, and heavy cream if using. Heat thoroughly, add Comté cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Reduce heat to low while you prepare frizzled shallots.
To Prepare the Frizzled Shallots:
Carefully heat ½ cup Hojiblanca extra virgin olive oil over high heat (keep lid nearby, in case oil overheats) until hot enough to brown a shallot ring in approx 5-7 seconds. When oil is hot enough, carefully add half of the shallot rings to the hot oil and brown, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon; Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining shallot rings.
Serve warm, garnished with frizzled shallots and a drizzle of Seasons Herbs de Provence olive oil. For added color and flavor complexity, sprinkle with fennel pollen and poppy seeds.