All Because Of A Bowl Smoked Paprika, Bacon, & Roasted Cauliflower Soup

cauliflower_soup_4_mfbWhat started out as a peaceful, restful holiday day soon became something else entirely.

All because of a bowl.

I reached into the cupboard to pull out a bowl for cereal in the morning.  That’s when I noticed that when the kids unloaded the dishwasher, they put the bowls that we use most often on the bottom of the stack.  So of course I had to fix it.  After all, those are the bowls that we would need later for lunch. I pulled out the stack and got the bowls rearranged.  I started to re-stack them in the cupboard when they slipped and the bottom bowl dropped on the floor. I watched, as if in slow motion, as it fell and shattered into a million pieces.

I walk around in bare feet a lot, so missing a sliver of glass when cleaning up is not an option.  So I swept the floor first, vacuumed once, then I vacuumed again. Then I got mad.  I got mad that my kitchen is too small for all my stuff.  I got mad that I have too much stuff.  I got mad that my cupboards were so overloaded that the simple task of rearranging bowls was going to make my peaceful day not so peaceful anymore.  Then I got busy.

I began by emptying out the cupboard that had started to resemble my junk drawer.  It seemed that when the junk drawer got full, the cabinet above the junk drawer became a suitable alternative.  It’s shocking that I had so much crap in that cupboard.

kitchen_mess_1Once the cupboard was emptied, I proceeded to go through all the junk.  I think I tossed about 80% of it.  Glue sticks with no more glue, expired medications, old Mother’s Day cards (If you tell anyone, I’ll deny it.), papers, 2 out of 4 bottles of OFF, pens without ink, and batteries that may or may not be used.  The list went on and on and the garbage bag got bigger and bigger.  Then the cupboard got a nice scrubbing and was painstakingly re-organized.

Next, it was on to the cupboard that apparently housed nothing but plastic bags.  I remember at one time that there was other stuff in there, but I can’t remember what.  I emptied the cupboard, washed it down and it now houses all of my re-usable storage containers.  But of course, before I could put those containers away, I had to go through them all and toss the ones that didn’t have lids, and toss the lids that didn’t have containers.

Then there was all the sorting of my dishes and small appliances. Re-arrangement of the other cupboards and the pantry before I could tackle making lunch. A delicious smoked paprika, bacon and roasted cauliflower soup. Which incidentally, we didn’t get to sit down and eat until almost 2:30 p.m.

And it was all because of a bowl.

Smoked Paprika, Bacon & Roasted Cauliflower Soup
makes approximately 6 cups

Ingredients

    • 1 head of cauliflower, washed and roughly chopped
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 5 slices smoky bacon, finely chopped
    • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 1-1/2 cups milk
    • 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
    • 1 green onion, for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Thoroughly wash and roughly chop the cauliflower head.  Sprinkle with olive oil, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper and lay in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees until fork tender.

While cauliflower is roasting, chop bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan, and remove all drippings except for 1 tablespoon.  Depending on the fat of your bacon, you may not need to remove any drippings.  Add chopped onion to the pan and drippings and cook until translucent.  Use a rubber spatula to transfer onions and pan drippings to a medium-sized pot.

Remove cauliflower from the oven and transfer to the pot.  Add milk, chicken stock, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and potato chunks.  Bring to a low boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can transfer small amounts of soup at a time to a standard blender or food processor to blend until smooth.  Once all the soup is blended, transfer it back into the pot.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.  Top with bacon and chopped green onion to serve.

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