Cream of Cauliflower Soup

adapted from The Irish Pub Cookbook by Margaret Johnson

Yield:  4-6 servings

2 Tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced into half moons

1 small onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup half and half

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of curry powder 

Minced fresh chives for garnish

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the leeks, onions, celery, and thyme.  Cook until the vegetables are soft but not browned, about 10 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and cook until slightly soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low.  Simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.

In batches, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot and stir in the half and half.  Season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and curry.  Simmer the soup until heated.

Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with chives.