Cooper Cheese Cauliflower Chowder with Smoked Bacon

Melt Melt MELT Shred Shred SHRED 8 8 SERVES: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Rating:
5/5 (1 Review)
Especially when the weather turns chilly and the snow starts to fall, you just find yourself craving a meal that’s a little cozier. A little more hearty, creamy and comforting. That’s right where this Cooper Cheese Cauliflower Chowder comes in. It’s a tasty, lower-carb delight that will warm you right to the core. So make yourself a batch, snuggle up and enjoy a nice big bowl of cheesy solace.

INGREDIENTS

Cauliflower Chowder Ingredients:
8 slices smoked bacon, chopped
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cups yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 sprig fresh thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Cooper Sharp White cheese, shredded
4 cups chicken broth (unsalted)
4 cups raw cauliflower, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
serve with Cooper Cheese Garlic Croutons (recipe below)

Cheesy Croutons Ingredients:
1 short French baguette, preferably day old
2 slices smoked bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or about 3-4 medium cloves)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4-8 slices Cooper Sharp White cheese

DIRECTIONS

In a medium-sized stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon slowly until slightly brown, or about 5 minutes. Remove cooked bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain, leaving the bacon grease in the pot.

Melt butter with the bacon grease in the stock pot/Dutch oven.

Add the chopped carrots, celery, onion and thyme. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Add the flour and stir until thoroughly mixed. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add Cooper Cheese to the flour mixture and stir until melted.

Add chicken stock, then add cauliflower. Increase heat to medium-high for a quick simmer to cook the cauliflower.

Once the cauliflower is cooked through, add whole milk and stir until mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If desired, stir in some of the chopped bacon. Otherwise, reserve bacon for garnish.

Remove chowder from heat and serve nice and hot. Garnish each bowl of Cauliflower Chowder with the remaining smoked bacon crumbles.

And if you want to really take this dish over the top, cap each serving off with a couple Cooper Cheese Garlic Croutons (see recipe below). And maybe even a little more Cooper Cheese.

Cooper Cheese Garlic Croutons

8 servings (2 croutons each)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F.

If using a fresh French baguette, cut into 16 slices about half an inch thick. Let sit out on a baking sheet 1 day. Otherwise, use a day-old French baguette cut into 16 slices.

Melt the butter.

In a large zippered plastic bag, combine the melted butter, garlic and thyme. Shake and rotate the bag to evenly distribute the butter and seasoning over the bread slices.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the baguette slices onto the sheet.

Bake 10-15 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Flip each slice and top with either 1 full slice or 1/2 slice of Cooper Cheese (depending on your cheese preference and size of the bread slices). If needed, hand tear the slices and layer cheese to cover the top of the bread slice accordingly. Sprinkle each slice with a portion of the chopped smoked bacon.

Bake 5-10 min longer until Cooper Cheese is melted.