Roasted Cauliflower White Cheddar Soup

1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 32-oz carton chicken broth

1 cup milk

1 1/2-2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

kosher salt and white pepper to taste

thinly sliced green onion for garnish, if desired

extra shredded cheese for garnish, if desired

reserved pieces of roasted cauliflower for garnish, if desired

1. Heat your oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with non-stick spray or mist with olive oil.

2.  Put the cauliflower on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, or mist with olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, or until crisp-tender and browned in places. Stir 1 or 2 times during roasting.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot. Add the garlic and onion, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the thyme and rosemary and cook 3 more minutes.

4. Add the roasted cauliflower and chicken broth, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

5. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. **IMPORTANT: Let the soup cool for about 5 minutes before blending, and make sure to remove the plastic stopper in the blender cover and hold a folded towel or paper towels over the hole. Speaking from past experience when blending hot soup, this will prevent a very sad explosion of soup all over your kitchen. (OR you can blend the mixture smooth with an immersion blender right in the pot.)

6. Return the blended soup to the pot. Over medium heat, add the milk and cheese and stir gently while the soup heats through and the cheese melts. Add kosher salt and fresh cracked white pepper to taste. Serve with green onion and extra cheese, and reserved pieces of roasted cauliflower.

Makes 4-6 servings.