This is not exciting soup. It's comfort soup. It's sore throat, rainy day, feeling blue soup. My Mom has made this soup for as long as I can remember. You could definitely make modifications to make this soup more exciting. Add an onion, maybe some garlic. Spice it up. Sprinkle bacon on top. It wouldn't be Mom's Cauliflower Soup anymore though.
Start with a medium / largish cauliflower. Wash it thoroughly and break it apart into large chunks. Don't worry about making things bite-sized at this point.
Put the cauliflower in a large pot and add 3 cups of water and 3 cups of milk. I use 2% milk for a little creaminess but you could go either way - skim milk for a healthier soup or whole milk for a creamier soup. It's all about preference. Note that you do thicken the soup with a roux so you do end up with a nice, creamy mouthfeel even if you do use lowfat milk.
Cook the cauliflower in the milk/water over medium/high heat until the cauliflower is tender crisp. Don't have your heat too high or the milk will foam up and boil over the pot and make a giant mess of your stove top.
When the cauliflower is cooked, put a strainer over a large bowl or measuring cup and strain the cauliflower. Reserve the liquid! Do not strain the cauliflower into the sink or you will cry! You want to save the cauliflower and save the warm milk, you just want them separate.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in the pot you just cooked the cauliflower in. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour over top. Stir and cook over slightly-higher-than medium heat for a minute or so, until the flour smells a bit nutty. Slowly add your reserved milk and whisk so you don't get lumps. Every stove is different so it's difficult to specify a heat. You want your milk to be hot so it starts to thicken but you don't want it to boil. I usually go with a smidge over medium heat.
Once all of the milk has been added, continue to cook (stirring / whisking constantly) until the soup thickens. Not as thick as a cream sauce, but not water thin. Again, it's about preference.
Stir in 6 bouillon cubes. I used chicken Better than Bouillon because I ran out of vegetarian bouillon but it's equally as nice either way. Taste your soup at this point and add salt and pepper to taste. I don't add pepper because black pepper is of the devil and I don't add salt because I find the bouillon to be salty enough. But again, preference!
Cut your cooked cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and add to your soup.
Ladle into bowls (serves 6) and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Enjoy!
1 medium/largish cauliflower
3 cups milk
3 cups water
1/4 cup butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 bouillon cubes
salt and pepper