Food for Thought, Part I: Stephanie’s Delicious Creamy Spinach and Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Welcome to my new series, in which I share some of my favorite comfort foods to munch on while writing.  Most of these recipes, as you will find, are not only comforting, but also healthy.  On today’s menu, I am serving up:

Stephanie’s Delicious Creamy Spinach and Cauliflower Cheese Soup

This recipe is gluten-free, sugar-free, and low-carb, while still being incredibly yummy.  I invented it during a bad patch of migraines, when I was attempting to cut carbs to see if it would help.  I didn’t find a migraine cure, but I did invent a scrumptious soup!
2 quarts half and half
1/2 stick salted butter
1 bag baby spinach
12 slices turkey bacon
2 sweet onions
2 heads cauliflower
4 cups monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan/romano cheese
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/8 cup white cooking wine
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon tarragon
2 tablespoons chives
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper  (don’t worry, it will not make the soup spicy)
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste (be sure to use sea salt and freshly ground pepper for best flavor)

Pour the half and half into a large pot and place over medium heat.  While this is heating, melt the butter and cook the bacon.  Add the butter as soon as it is melted and stir thoroughly.  Pulverize the bacon, spinach, and onions in an electric chopper, then add each to the pot and stir well.  Next, chop up one head of cauliflower into small pieces and add it as soon as the soup has reached a simmer.  Pulverize the other head in your chopper, then combine it into the soup.  Mix in the wine, herbs, and spices, continuing to stir well.  After letting the soup cook for about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally, add the cheeses, then salt and pepper.  Let the soup cook about fifteen minutes longer, still stirring occasionally.  Final step: serve up a big bowl of it and enjoy!

This soup stores well in the refrigerator.  A little bit of separation occurs, but all you need to do is stir it.  It is a wonderful comfort food that is creamy and filling.  If you like a smoother soup, add in some flour for thickening (of course, it will then no longer be gluten-free or low-carb).

For a delicious and healthy dessert, mash up a bowl of frozen raspberries or blackberries, add some splenda or truvia, and pour in some half and half.  Mix it well until it is nice and creamy, like a rather thick sorbet.