Creamy Cauliflower and Fontina Soup

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

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