Chef Denise Garcia is extremely fond of Comté. She says this French beauty is a regulated AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) cheese, much like Champagne is in the wine world. Garcia once asked their Cheese Therapy distributor how they would grow Livermore up on beautiful cheeses, and was told, “Comté is where you start. Comté is like fudge in consistency and hits the palate with the nuttiness of brown butter and sweetness of mountain milk.” This simple soup features Comté combined with the soft, abundant flavors of roasted cauliflower, garlic, and apple. Add the cream and you have a warm heavenly meal.
2 heads cauliflower, cut into flowerettes
6 celery ribs, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 yellow onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
3 green apples, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
20 whole peeled garlic cloves
2 tablespoons herbs de Provence
¼ cup butter, melted
8 cups chicken stock
1½ cups heavy cream
8 ounces Comté cheese, grated
Salt and white pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish
Toss first 7 ingredients together in a roasting pan, roast at 350° until golden brown, cool mixture to warm. Purée mixture with a bit of warm stock and transfer to a stockpot. Add remaining chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Add cream and grated Comté (reserve some of this grated cheese for garnish) and simmer until soup is smooth. (The cheese with be clumpy and gradually become smooth.)
Season with salt and white pepper. Garnish this lovely soup with Italian parsley, a pinch of the reserved grated Comté and serve with warm bread.