Snow, snow, snow…ice…and more snow. I don’t come in from the arctic air (well it’s arctic air to my southern bones) and think about a nice pasta salad…I want soup and ALOT of it. And isn’t that the beauty of soup. It’s so incredibly easy to make healthy without sacrificing flavor.
Sometimes when I’m using cauliflower in soup, I puree it and use it as a low calorie base as I did with this Creamy Potato Soup (one of my early recipes) hiding it in a glorious explosion of garlic and potatoes, hmmmm…yummy. This time though I wanted to go a different route. This time I wanted the cauliflower to shine. So everything that went in was intended to compliment, to enhance not overpower the cauliflower. Parmesan, onion, garlic and parsley are added to create a delicate balance of flavors with the rice adding a bit of bulk and texture. Oh I almost forgot the best part…80 calories a cup!!! Yippee!!! This is no time to hold back! True…not everyone thinks soup is worthy of celebrating but I’ll change their mind…one soup bowl at a time;)
Creamy Parmesan Cauliflower Rice Soup
- 4 cups reduced fat, reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium/large head of cauliflower (coarsely chopped)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 dried parsley
- 3/4 cup instant brown rice
- 1/4 cup fat free half and half
- 1/2 cup shredded fresh parmesan
In a large pot combine the broth, water, chopped cauliflower, and onion and bring to a boil.
Once the cauliflower is soft, stir in the garlic, salt, pepper and parsley.
Using a hand blender (also called an immersion blender or stick blender) begin to puree the cauliflower. I prefer to blend it about halfway, leaving small chunks of cauliflower throughout the soup for texture but it's up to you. You can use a regular blender here if you'd prefer. Scoop about half of the cauliflower out with a cup of broth and puree. Be careful as it will be VERY hot.
Add the rice and simmer until the rice is soft and tender.
At this point I used my hand blender again but only gave it a few pulses. I didn't want the rice to become completely pureed, just enough to blend in with the cauliflower.
Stir in the half and half and parmesan.
This is great served with grilled sandwiches or a nice thick slice of crusty bread. Enjoy:)
1 cup = 80 calories