Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
Roast Cauliflower: In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon cumin, ¾ teaspoon paprika, ¾ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place cauliflower florets into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Pour the mixed spices on top of the cauliflower and toss to thoroughly coat. Transfer cauliflower to prepared sheet pan. Roast, turning once, until cauliflower is golden and cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
For the Soup:If using bacon: Add bacon to a Dutch oven or stock pot and place over medium heat (start in a cold pot). Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and crispy, about 8-12 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon and set aside. Pour off all, except about 1 ½ tablespoon of, drippings*.
(if not using bacon, add a tablespoon of oil to the pot before proceeding) Add onion and jalapeno. Season with ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Sauté until soft and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the roasted cauliflower, cannellini beans and stock to the pot. Increase heat to high, bring mixture to a boil and immediately reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree soup to desired consistency (alternatively, transfer soup in batches to a stand blender, puree, and transfer back to pot*). Stir in half-and-half. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with reserved bacon and additional optional toppings. Enjoy!
Yield: Roughly 6-7 Cups
For the jalapeno- leave the seeds intact for a spicier soup, partially seed for a mild soup, and fully seed for a non-spicy soup.
I used 6 slices of bacon, but feel free to use more!
Pour excess drippings of bacon grease into a small container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for future use. Use in place of oil or butter for additional flavor in dishes.
To make this vegetarian: Omit the bacon from ingredient list and skip step #3. Use 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to sauté onion and jalapeno in step 4.
I used low fat half-and-half, but feel free to use what you prefer.
If you are using a stand blender to puree the soup, make sure you puree the soup in batches to avoid the hot soup from exploding out of the blender. Hot soup will steam and expand in the blender, which will push the top off of the blender (hence causing a soup explosion), so always make sure you puree in batches and avoid filling the blender all the way to the top!
Nutritional Information does not include garnishes.