Review by Lyndee:
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups shredded or grated cauliflower (about 2/3 of a head-I used a bag of frozen florets)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 cups milk (I used skim)
dash of hot sauce
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (I used 2% reduced fat)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Set a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp, stirring occasionally, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pot.
Add the onion and garlic and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower then add the water. Cover the pot and steam the cauliflower, stirring a few times, until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and the flour in a small bowl, whisking until smooth. Set aside.
Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups of chicken broth, the milk and the hot sauce to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then gradually whisk in the flour/chicken broth mixture. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the soup has thickened. If desired, now is a good time to puree the soup for a smooth consistency. You can use an immersion blender or a regular blender (though you might want to do it in 2 batches with a regular blender).
Turn off the heat under the pot and gradually add 2 cups of the cheese, stirring until melted and smooth. Mix in about half of the cooked bacon. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper then serve garnished with the remaining bacon, cheese and scallions.
My Sundays are hectic so I decided I was going to make this in the crockpot while I was out running around so I would have a warm and healthified soup for my lunches this week. I dumped in the chicken brother, bag of cauliflower florets, milk, water, bacon that I cooked with garlic and onions, hot sauce and ½ the cheese. I set it on low for about 6 hours. I then used a potato masher to chunk down the cauliflower, mixed flour and milk together and stirred in for some thickness and let cook another hour. It tastes really good and is much more carb friendly than a loaded baked potato soup. Other ways you can cut down is to use the skim milk, reduced fat cheese and turkey bacon.