The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Archive of ‘Vegetarian’ category

Sesame Noodles

 

My blog is backed up with recipes, LA Family activities, park recommendations, and even a “How to Paint Stripes on Your Ceiling Tutorial” that I need to post but since my in-laws left my kids have been glued to my side. Hell, they’re glued to my side, front, and back (including the older one who is sitting behind me in this small chair at my desk, like, right NOW.) about 12 hours of the day. 2 hours are devoted solely to cleaning up the mess left by the Bea-dozer and trying to catch a Real Housewives or Shahs of Sunset episode here & there. Still, knowing this special time at home with them is so fleeting, I really don’t want to keep pushing them away so I can sit here typing a blog even though it’s such a fun outlet for me. The kids are so silly, inquisitive, entertaining (oh yeah, and infuriating) that I want to be here for all (ahem, most) of it.

Anyway, I’d planned on doing my Easter post but *someone* took the camera to an all-night shoot so I’ll do these easy, oh so yummy sesame noodles instead! These are great for when you’re in a pinch (as I am every other night or so…).

You prolly have all these ingredients:

and this:

INGREDIENTS:
12 oz thin noodles (I used whole wheat spaghetti but you can use soba or another kind of Asian noodle or whatever you like)
1/4 c soy sauce
2 TBSP sugar (or maple syrup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP rice vinegar
3 TBSP pure sesame oil
1/2 tsp hot chili oil
4 TBSP canola or vegetable oil
4 green onions, sliced thin

NOTE: if you don’t have all these ingredients, go and get them! You should be able to find them at your regular grocery store in the Asian aisle. Even if you are put off by buying all these ingredients for a supposedly simple dish, you’ll be glad you have them as I promise, you’ll make these noodles like once a week until time immemorial. Trust me!

Holy cow – look it how much soy sauce I bought! I go through this stuff crazy fast.

This dish is really easy! I make these once a week or so for the girls and then I eat half of them, from a standing position behind the counter. They’re not going to trick me into sitting down with them so that the second my bum hits the chair they ask me for something. Fool me once…shame on me, fool me twice, well, you & G.W.Bush know the rest.

1. Set some water to boil.

2. Whisk together the dressing/sauce ingredients.

Taste the sauce & adjust any ingredients to your liking. For instance, if you like it spicier you might want to add more hot chili oil. Or if you like it sweeter, more sugar.

3. Add your noodles to the water.

4. Slice your green onions.

5. Drain your noodles. Really shake them & try to get the water out by tossing them in the air gently a few times.

6. Return noodles to pot and drizzle about 3/4ths of the sauce over the noodles & toss. I reserve about 1/4th of the sauce to drizzle over each person’s bowl when serving. Add green onions & toss. Unless you find it painful to watch your kids pick out each and every green onion. Then just hold those back for your bowl.

Yes, it’s 6PM here in Santa Monica. Love it when summer’s on its way!

I swear, we DO own a hairbrush!


Maddie’s name this week was “Furten” (rhymes with “curtain”) but today it’s “Caston.”

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Sesame Noodles
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2-4
 

Simple – 5 minutes prep & 10 minutes cook time. Perfect dish for little ones & adults!
Ingredients
  • 12 oz thin noodles (spaghetti, Asian noodles etc.)
  • ¼ c soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 3 TBSP pure sesame oil
  • ½ tsp hot chili oil
  • 4 TBSP canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin

Instructions
  1. Set some water to boil.
  2. Whisk together the dressing/sauce ingredients.
  3. Taste the sauce & adjust any ingredients to your liking. For instance, if you like it spicier you might want to add more hot chili oil. Or if you like it sweeter, more sugar.
  4. Add your noodles to the water.
  5. Slice your green onions.
  6. Drain your noodles. Really shake them & try to get the water out by tossing them in the air gently a few times.
  7. Return noodles to pot and drizzle about ¾ths of the sauce over the noodles & toss. I reserve about ¼th of the sauce to drizzle over each person’s bowl when serving. Add green onions & toss. If you find it painful to watch your kids pick out each and every green onion, hold those back for YOUR bowl.

Notes
Sometimes I add thinly sliced bell peppers (red, orange or yellow) or bean sprouts. You can sautee briefly or add raw to warm noodles depending on what you like!

 

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Quick & Easy Mediterranean Pasta

Let me start this post by saying I made G a double layer ice cream cake for his bday last weekend. Eating that cake was the second most excited I saw him in the last 2 days. The MOST excited was when the Kentucky Wildcats won the NCAA championship last night. GO CATS!!!!

Last night I was heading to Hooters (where I, incidentally, ate some fried pickles) to watch the game with him so I had to throw together a quick dinner for the girls. This is the fastest pasta dish in the world.

SO easy. Everything is available at Trader Joe’s. In fact, I got this idea from Trader Joe’s as they used to have a pasta in a box with these ingredients except you had to add a whole s-ton of olive oil & water to the dehydrated stuff for the dressing. M used to love it but all good things came to an end as they do at TJ’s and they no longer sell it.

1. Chop pitted olives as small as you like them. Same with the tomatoes. Mine came julienned so I just left them alone!

2. Cook your pasta of choice according to package directions.

3. Drain pasta & then return to pot. Add the olives, tomatoes & a handful of crumbled feta.

Toss & salt to taste. I added a couple of tablespoons of olive oil too!

Not the prettiest dish but VERY tasty & simple!

 

Quick & Easy Mediterranean Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives & crumbled feta. When you have exactly 20 minutes to make dinner and no fresh veg in the house!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb pasta
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (or to taste)
  • 1 c julienned sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 c chopped kalamata olives
  • ¾ c crumbled feta

Instructions
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  2. Drain & then return to pot.
  3. Add tomatoes, olives & feta & toss to combine.
  4. Taste & adjust amounts to your liking including a pinch of salt if needed.

 

Sesame otsu, how to press tofu & “needs v. wants”

I have this new favorite cookbook – “Super Natural Every Day” and I am always daydreaming about the recipes. Sometimes I get caught up on ingredients I am missing but today I said “What the hey?” and made this otsu with what I had on hand. You’ll see firsthand where I made a mistake learned something.

Btw: this has TOFU in it. People have different reactions to tofu as a foodstuff depending on their experience or non-experience with it. If you’ve never tried it and are scared (is scared too strong a word?) I urge you to challenge yourself to go out of your comfort zone. Anyone who knows my husband, G, knows that he is a self-proclaimed “meat-a-tarian” with a limited palate. But he likes fried tofu. Hell, he likes fried anything pretty much. Anyway, the tofu in this dish is fried and my kids love it. It’s NOT slimy! It’s like a french fry. (Yuuuummmm, french fries!!!!) Anyway, you have to laugh at the irony of being scared of a plant based product but eating dead animals without hesitation. Especially when you think about what those animals are being fed and what is being injected into them to make them fat as well as to keep them alive despite pretty gnarly conditions. Enough with my (run-on) rant. Try this tofu! What’s the worst thing that can happen?

This is an amazing dish – the wholesome buckwheat noodles are coated in a complexly flavored sesame paste. Tofu rounds out the dish.

YOU NEED:

INGREDIENTS:
1 tsp pine nuts (if you don’t have pine nuts, double the sunflower seeds)
1 tsp sunflower seeds
1/2 c sesame seeds
1-1/2 TBSP sugar
1-1/2 TBSP soy sauce or tamari
1-1/2 tsp mirin (Japanese sake – I got it at Ralph’s)
scant 1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
2 TBSP rice vinegar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt
12 oz soba noodles
12 oz extra firm tofu
olive oil
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin on a diagonal

All the ingredients listed are from Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, Costco or my garden. None are from specialty stores. I had the ingredients from my regular monthly/weekly shopping excursions.

**NOTE: as always, I changed some of the ingredients to make them more accessible. I’m not sure how Heidi Swanson would feel about it and I’m sure it changes the flavors but my goal is to make recipes do-able without going to any special stores just for that dish. When you have a 1-1/2 year old who refuses to sit in a shopping cart, responds to her carseat as it if were doused in battery acid, and delights in running down an aisle with her arm out to knock EVERY box of cereal off the shelf, more than a Xanax, you need to keep it simple.**

TOFU PREP TUTORIAL
If you’re not familiar with preparing tofu – this part is for you. If you’re an old pro – you will want to skip this section.

Tofu comes in a little pool of water. You need to get rid of most of that water before you fry it because you know what they say about oil and water? They don’t mix. In fact they splatter all over you. Also, think of the tofu as a sort of sponge for flavors. The more water you get out of it the more flavors it can absorb. In this recipe, you’re getting the water out for better frying since we’re just salting it.

Here’s my method:
- Remove the tofu from its package over the sink.
- Slice tofu in a few large flat pieces (3 or 4)
- Place slices together on half of a paper towel atop half of a kitchen towel (the paper towel keeps any grody fuzzies or bits & pieces that were on your kitchen towel from touching your tofu)

- Fold the the other half of the paper towel & kitchen towel over the top of the tofu, covering it completely.

- Place something heavy but not too heavy atop. I use a cast iron skillet. This presses the water out of the tofu and into the towels.

Try to press your tofu for about 15 minutes if you can.
After 15 minutes, you are ready to cut your tofu into whatever size pieces you’d like. I usually cut mine into 1×2″ pieces.

Ok. So anyway, press your tofu first thing.

Did you do it? Great! Let’s start…

1. Toast the pine nuts & sunflower seeds in a large skillet over medium heat. If you don’t have pine nuts, just substitute more sunflower seeds.
Be sure to toss them in the pan often. Those pine nuts can burn quickly! I should know, I just burned a bunch. After about a minute, add the sesame seeds.

The second you start smelling the sesame seeds, remove from heat. You are making the sesame paste now in case you didn’t realize it!

This year I’ve made it a personal challenge to make ice cream, bread, pesto, pastes (that is not a typo – I haven’t tried to make pasta yet), pizzas and soups all without an ice cream maker, bread machine, food processor, pizza stone or stand mixer. My opinion: you don’t NEED most of that stuff! That said, I WANT a pizza stone but as for all the other expensive stuff clogging up my tiny countertops – this appliances can s____ it! I do, however, concede to the usefulness of the mandolin which I also do not currently own. But that’s another story… Another WANT not a NEED.

Regardless & irregardless of what you have or don’t have, need or don’t need, you are about to make a paste that calls for a mortar & pestle but which I’m here to assure you can be made just as easily in a regular old grotty old blender. Here we go!

2. Crush seeds/nuts with a mortar pestle. What? You KNOW I don’t have one! I crushed them in my blender.

The seeds look like sand.

Damp sand.

3. Add the sugar, mirin, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and cayenne pepper to the “sand” mixture.

Stir to combine thoroughly & adjust any ingredients to your taste.

It should look something like this.

5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Read the soba noodles package direction before you go any further. They don’t cook like typical pasta.

The soba noodles will expand quite a lot so you really will need a large pot! Add salt to the water & cook according to package directions. **NOTE: save about 1/3 c of the cooking water just before draining.**

Drain the noodles when done & rinse under cold running water. (They will stick together in a huge clump if you don’t do that!)

6. Put your cut tofu into a bowl & toss with a little olive oil & salt.

Heat a large skillet to medium high and toss your tofu in there. This time I tossed in there helper skelter but usually I lay all my tofu out in neat lines as I find it easier to turn. Another instance of OCD which doesn’t seem to spill over into my housekeeping. Flip occasionally – tofu should be golden brown on all sides but not tough and chewy. Taste one to see how it is.

This is what it looks like as some of the sides are browned. You still want to try to brown those paler sides but if you miss some – no biggie.

Mmmmm a nice pile of fried tofu!

7. You’re almost done!! Save 1 heaping TBSP of the sesame paste.

Water down the rest with that 1/3 c of reserved pasta water. If you forgot to save it, just use 1/3 c of hot water. Transfer your soba to a large mixing bowl & pour the thinned paste/sauce over it along with half the green onions.

Toss to combine. Serve topped with a dollop of the sesame paste & green onions. Beautiful!

That reminds me! I forgot to tell you what I learned. When I started making this I realized I was out of sesame seed oil but I DID have some Hot Chili Sesame Seed Oil in my fridge. I thought, “I’ll just use half the amount.” The sesame paste definitely had a VERY noticeable kick to it after I did that. This really makes me mad sometimes! I spend a lot of time & energy on a dish only to do something to make it 100% inedible to the girls. You know, something like serve it with live snakes or add carrots. Or green onions. This time I played dumb about the spice factor but stealthily passed out unasked for cups of milk along with the food. AMAZING!! They both ate a lot. And drank a LOT of milk!

Next time I will use plain sesame seed oil… (Trader Joe’s has it cheapest btw.)

Sesame Otsu, How to Press Tofu & Needs V. Wants
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Complexly flavored wholesome soba noodle dish.
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp pine nuts (if you don’t have pine nuts, double the sunflower seeds)
  • 1 tsp sunflower seeds
  • ½ c sesame seeds
  • 1-1/2 TBSP sugar
  • 1-1/2 TBSP soy sauce or tamari
  • 1-1/2 tsp mirin (Japanese sake – I got it at Ralph’s)
  • scant 1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • sea salt
  • 12 oz soba noodles
  • 12 oz extra firm tofu
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin on a diagonal

Instructions
  1. Toast the pine nuts & sunflower seeds in a large skillet over medium heat. If you don’t have pine nuts, just substitute more sunflower seeds. Those pine nuts can burn quickly! After about a minute, add the sesame seeds. The second you start smelling the sesame seeds, remove from heat. You are making the sesame paste now in case you didn’t realize it!
  2. Crush seeds/nuts with a mortar pestle, a food processor or in a blender. The ground seeds will look like damp sand.
  3. Add the sugar, mirin, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and cayenne pepper to the “sand” mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly & adjust any ingredients to your taste.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. The soba noodles will expand quite a lot so you really will need a large pot! Add salt to the water & cook according to package directions. **NOTE: save about ⅓ c of the cooking water just before draining.** Drain the noodles when done & rinse under cold running water. (They will stick together if you don’t do that.)
  5. Put your cut tofu into a bowl & toss with a little olive oil & a few pinches of salt. Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium high and toss your tofu in there. You can add a little oil to the skillet. Flip occasionally – tofu should be golden brown on all sides but not tough and chewy. Taste one to see how it is. Toss until all sides are brown. Remove from skillet onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
  6. Save 1 heaping TBSP of the sesame paste. Water down the remaining paste with that ⅓ c of reserved pasta water. If you forgot to save it, just use ⅓ c of hot water. Transfer your soba to a large mixing bowl & pour the thinned paste/sauce over it along with half the green onions. Toss to combine. Serve topped with a dollop of the sesame paste & green onions.

Notes
TOFU PREP TUTORIAL If you’re not familiar with preparing tofu – this part is for you. Tofu comes in a little pool of water. You need to get rid of most of that water before you fry it because you know what they say about oil and water? They don’t mix. In fact they splatter all over you. Also, think of the tofu as a sort of sponge for flavors. The more water you get out of it the more flavors it can absorb. Here’s my method: – Remove the tofu from its package over the sink. – Slice tofu in a few large flat pieces (3 or 4) – Place slices together on half of a paper towel atop half of a kitchen towel (the paper towel keeps any grody fuzzies or bits & pieces that were on your kitchen towel from touching your tofu) – Fold the the other half of the paper towel & kitchen towel over the top of the tofu, covering it completely. – Place something heavy but not too heavy atop. I use a cast iron skillet. This presses the water out of the tofu and into the towels. Try to press your tofu for about 15 minutes if you can. After 15 minutes, you are ready to cut your tofu into whatever size pieces you’d like. I usually cut mine into 1×2″ pieces.

 

Israeli Couscous Salad with Pine Nuts & Parsley

You know those days dinner sneaks up on you yet you STILL refuse to boil noodles again? This is the dish for those days…

Wait: isn’t couscous a form of pasta? D’OH!!!! At least some veggies have snuck in here. Or is it sneaked?

You need:

INGREDIENTS:
1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 c pine nuts
1/2 c shallots (or onion if you have no shallots), finely chopped
1-1/2 c Israeli couscous
1/2 cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp cinnamon)
1 dried bay leaf
1-3/4 c vegetable broth (I used vegetarian chicken flavored bouillon)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c fresh parsley, minced
1/2 – 1 zucchini, finely chopped (OPTIONAL)
zest of 1/2 lemon
black pepper, to taste
small handful of crumbled feta cheese

NOTE: you can omit the zucchini or substitute any other veg you want to use up: broccoli, carrots, corn, frozen veg, greens (add these just before the broth as they need a shorter cooking time). Just be sure the veg is chopped finely.

This is so easy. I didn’t take pictures of the process as I was in a huge rush to feed the girls.

1. Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add pine nuts & stir until golden brown. WARNING: only a minute or two max! Remove from heat & put aside in a small bowl.

2. Using the same saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute shallots until golden (for about 3-4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add zucchini or whatever other veg you have on hand! Cook for another minute or two. Add couscous, cinnamon stick and bay leaf, and stir often until couscous browns slightly. Yes, the couscous is uncooked when you first put it in!

3. Add broth, bring to a boil, then simmer covered on low until broth has been absorbed and couscous is tender.

4. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, pine nuts, lemon zest & feta. Season with black pepper to taste.

This is REALLY yummy and great the next day!

Maddie is on a high carb diet.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Pine Nuts & Parsley
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2-4
 

Tasty warm salad or side dish! You can adjust the amount of veggie to your liking.
Ingredients
  • INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ c pine nuts
  • ½ c shallots (or onion if you have no shallots), finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 c Israeli couscous
  • ½ cinnamon stick (or ¼ tsp cinnamon)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1-3/4 c vegetable broth (I used vegetarian chicken flavored bouillon)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ c fresh parsley, minced
  • ½ – 1 zucchini, finely chopped (OPTIONAL)
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • black pepper, to taste
  • small handful of crumbled feta cheese
  • NOTE: you can omit the zucchini or substitute any other veg you want to use up: broccoli, carrots, corn, frozen veg, greens (add these just before the broth as they need a shorter cooking time). Just be sure the veg is chopped finely.

Instructions
  1. Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add pine nuts & stir until golden brown. WARNING: only a minute or two max! Remove from heat & put aside in a small bowl.
  2. Using the same saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute shallots until golden (for about 3-4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add zucchini or whatever other veg you have on hand! Cook for another minute or two. Add couscous, cinnamon stick and bay leaf, and stir often until couscous browns slightly. Yes, the couscous is uncooked when you first put it in!
  3. Add broth, bring to a boil, then simmer covered on low until broth has been absorbed and couscous is tender.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, pine nuts, lemon zest & feta. Season with black pepper to taste.

Notes
This would be enough for 2 people as a main dish or 4 as a side. Great for leftovers!

Guess where I got this? The back of the Trader Joe’s package!! I don’t trust these things normally but this is great. I just made a few adjustments.

Chunky Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

Hoo boy – I bought this head of cauliflower at the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday because it was $1.00. I thought I’d roast it and eat it, standing at the counter, while the kids ate their noodles. But then I realized, since I had a loaf of rustic bread all ready to pop into the oven, I better make a soup to go with it.

Last time I did a cauliflower soup, it was a creamy one with cheddar cheese and a potato. Alas, I had no potatoes having used them up in my Gardener’s Pie last week so I checked out another recipe. It was easy! I was able to do this while unloading the dishwasher, helping someone to various art supplies spread far & wide across the house, and picking up all the toys scattered across the backyard.

But I’m glad you didn’t see the kitchen/house afterwards!

YOU NEED:

INGREDIENTS:
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1-1/2 heads cauliflower, roughly chopped (I only had 1)
2 tsp fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried parsley flakes)
2 quarts low-sodium vegetable broth (I used Vegetarian Chicken Bullion)
2 tsp dijon mustard
2/3 c grated cheddar cheese
4 TBSP butter
2 c whole milk
6 TBSP all purpose flour
OPTIONAL: 1 c half & half

1. Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until browning, stirring occasionally.

2. Add carrots & celery and cook for another 4 minutes.

I used a red onion because I had it! To me, it made no difference.

Lookit how cute and tinily diced those carrots & celery are.

Tinily?

3. Add the cauliflower & parsley. Hoo boy it’s time for me to get a new parsley plant. I need two going at all times as my poor parsley can’t keep up with the demands placed upon it. This is all I could get!

That “undead” finger is actually my pinky. So photogenic!

I only had one head of cauliflower but next time I’ll use 1-1/2 heads as my soup needed more.

Turn heat way down, cover & cook for about 15 minutes on LOW. Feel free to stir every so often.

4. Add 1 or 1-1/2 quarts of the broth. Save that last 1/2 quart to decide if you need it or not depending on how you like your soup. Heat to boiling, then turn down heat and simmer.

5. Melt butter in a small saucepan. I used the same soup pot I started my soup in until realizing that pot was way too small. So there are a few onions in there. No bigs!

6. Now whisk your milk & flour together. Add that mixture to the melted butter, stirring to combine. **Now here’s an option for you: add 1 c half & half to the white sauce you just made. I didn’t do that b/c I never have half & half in my house.** You will have a thickened sauce. Pour that milk/flour/butter mixture into the soup and stir.

7. Add 2 tsp dijon mustard to the soup as well as 2/3 c grated cheddar cheese. I think mine needed the cheese because I used 1% milk instead of whole milk. If you use whole milk AND half & half, you might want to omit the cheese. Or add it! What, me worry?

Let soup simmer for another 15 minutes. Add salt & black pepper to taste!

Serve with rustic bread

& grated cheddar to top.

Thank you.

Bea ate 2 bowls of soup. Btw: who noticed the dog bite on her (camera) left cheek?

 

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6
 

Hearty, cheesy soup that goes perfectly with a crusty piece of bread on a cold night!
Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1-1/2 heads cauliflower, roughly chopped (I only had 1)
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried parsley flakes)
  • 2 quarts low-sodium vegetable broth (I used Vegetarian Chicken Bullion)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • ⅔ c grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 6 TBSP all purpose flour
  • OPTIONAL: 1 c half & half

Instructions
  1. Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until browning, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add carrots & celery and cook for another 4 minutes.
  3. Add the cauliflower & parsley.
  4. Turn heat way down, cover & cook for about 15 minutes on LOW. Feel free to stir every so often.
  5. Add 1 or 1-1/2 quarts of the broth. Save that last ½ quart to decide if you need it or not depending on how you like your soup. Heat to boiling, then turn down heat and simmer.
  6. Melt butter in a small saucepan.
  7. Now whisk your milk & flour together. Add that mixture to the melted butter, stirring to combine. **Now here’s an option for you: add 1 c half & half to the white sauce you just made. (For extra creaminess…)** Regardless of the half & half, you will have a thickened sauce. Pour that milk/flour/butter mixture into the soup and stir.
  8. Add 2 tsp dijon mustard to the soup as well as ⅔ c grated cheddar cheese. I think mine needed the cheese because I used 1% milk instead of whole milk. If you use whole milk AND half & half, you might want to omit the cheese. Or add it! What, me worry?
  9. Let soup simmer for another 15 minutes. Add salt & black pepper to taste!
  10. Serve with rustic bread & grated cheddar to top.

Notes
If soup is too chunky, puree ⅓rd of it using a blender or immersion blender. Be CAREFUL if you use a regular blender as the heat can make it explode out! It never happened to me – it happened to a “friend” of mine.

Adapted from two different recipes at The Pioneer Woman & Annie’s Eats.



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