1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite sized florets
4 carrots. sliced (or as many as you like)
2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock (you can use water, but you'll need more seasonings)
2 t. salt (to taste)
2 T olive oil
2 T flour (use rice flour for gluten free)
1 T paprika
1 - 2 cloves garlic finely minced
2 T parsley finely minced
Add the chicken stock to a soup pot and put over medium high heat.
Trim the cauliflower and separate the florets into bite sized pieces and add to the pot. Discard the outer dark tougher pieces, but save the lighter green and white bits and pieces that are left from the inner stems. We will use them.
I don't peel my carrots if they are nice and smooth, clean carrots, but peel the carrots if you like. Slice them and add to the stock and cauliflower. While this comes to a boil and the cauliflower and carrots cook until they are tender you will make a roux.
In a small skillet over medium heat, add the 2 T olive oil and 2 T of flour. Let this cook and bubble for a minute or two until the flour just begins to take on a little golden color. Make sure the heat isn't too high. This can burn in an instant! Now add the garlic and the paprika and the parsley all at one time. Stir for just a moment until the garlic becomes very fragrant. This can burn very quickly too! (If you burn it, throw it out and start over. The flavor is awful if this gets burned.) After a moment, add this roux mixture to the soup pot and stir. The soup won't get thick, but it will get some body and beautiful color along with fantastic flavor! Turn the heat down to medium and let this continue to simmer until the cauliflower and carrots are tender.
This part is optional. My mom didn't do this, but I decided I wanted to use all the bits and pieces cut away from the florets. It won't really change the flavor of the soup but it will add silkiness and more flavor to the soup. I took all the bits and pieces and cut them up very small about the size of peas. Then I put them in a deep bowl with about 1/4 of water and microwaved it until it was very tender. I transferred it to a deep bowl, added a little more chicken stock (just enough cover the bits and pieces) and used my stick blender to make a puree. Pour this into the soup to use as a thickener.
The soup is ready when the veggies are tender to your liking. Add more salt and/or pepper to taste.
(I also added some garlic chives because I had them. Feel free to start with some sautéed onions before you add the chicken stock and cauliflower, use more ore less garlic, more or less parsley. I've even considered dicing some parsnips to add.)
Another option for this soup is to make some farina dumplings. I didn't make any this time, but these are absolutely fantastic in this soup! For those of you who don't know what Farina is, it's cream of wheat cereal!
Crack one egg into a small bowl. Add enough farina to make a thick mixture approximately as thick as creamy yogurt. Let this sit in the bowl for about five or ten minutes. It will get much thicker as the egg soaks into the cream of wheat. Now take a spoon and drop this by the spoonful into the simmer soup. I like my dumpling pretty large, but ideal size is about 2 t of batter. These cook up to about the same size as the pieces of cauliflower in the soup. They will expand to about twice the size of the raw batter as they cook. No need to be exact, just try to make them all the same size so they cook evenly - about 5 minutes.
Enjoy! Let me know how you like this soup!