Cauliflower and Summer Ale Soup


Ingredients: 2 heads of cauliflower, (cheddar, white or both) 2 fennel bulbs, chopped 1 bunch of cutting celery, stalks chopped and leaves reserved 1 white sweet pepper, seeded and chopped (can use banana peppers if you want to add some heat) 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2 Rapunzel vegetable bouillon cubes with sea salt and herbs 1 pint of local ale (Chattanooga Brewing Company Hill City IPA has a nice buttery flavor and would compliment this soup well) 1 Tbs whole-grain french mustard Canola or olive oil 6 cups of water Salt and pepper to taste Aged cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

Method: Cut or break the cauliflower into medium sized pieces.  Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until the tips begin to brown and the stems are fairly soft.

While the cauliflower is baking, place the chopped fennel, celery, sweet pepper, and onion in a large stock pot with some oil and saute on medium heat until the vegetables begin to brown just a little.  Add the garlic, vegetable bouillon cubes and the ale.  Give it a stir and let it cook for a minute or two, then add the water.  Let it come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

When the cauliflower is done, add it and the tablespoon of mustard to the soup.  Remove from heat and carefully puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a conventional blender.  Warm through as necessary and serve with chopped celery leaves and grated cheddar cheese on top.