Creamy, Dreamy Cauliflower Soup

This has to be one of the easiest soups ever, with a huge payoff in terms of flavor and texture. It's creamy (no cream) and totally delicious with only a little onion, salt and pepper for flavor. The flavors focus on being all about the cauliflower, which is decidedly a very good thing. That said, I've also given you some ideas for add-ins and toppings in case you're led in that direction.

Recipe adapted from Food52

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion (6 ounces), sliced thin

1 head very fresh cauliflower (about 1-1/2 pounds), broken into florets

Salt, to taste (I used 2 teaspoons)

5 cups water, divided

Extra virgin olive oil, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Optional Add-ins

grated cheddar, smoked Gouda, goat cheese or Gruyere

1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Minced, fresh chives

Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat without letting it brown for 15 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, salt to taste (I added 1 teaspoon), and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew the cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes uncovered.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender (or use an immersion blender) to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. In this time it will thicken slightly. If desired, stir in some grated cheese.

Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. If desired stir in 1/2 teaspoon of sherry vinegar or sprinkle with chopped chives.