1 large head cauliflower, rinsed and trimmed to florets
6 medium red potatoes, peels left on, chopped
2 large or 3 small leeks, white and light green parts cleaned and chopped
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 cups milk, 2% or whole
Salt to taste
1/4 t ground black pepper, or to taste
1 t dried thyme
3/4 t dried mustard
1/2 t fennel seeds
8 ounces fontina cheese, cut into small pieces
Prep the cauliflower, potatoes, leeks, and shallots. Place them in a large soup pot.
Add the chicken stock, water, and milk. Slowly bring to a low simmer.
Add the salt (start with a pinch), pepper, thyme, mustard, and fennel seeds.
Simmer covered, stir frequently, until the veggies soften, about 25 minutes.
Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to create a smooth soup.
Return to low heat and add the fontina cheese. Simmering, stirring frequently, until the cheese melts. Simmer on very low for 5 more minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Serve with quick to fix garlic croutons, green onion, or a scattering of hot red pepper flakes.