2potatoesdiced (optional- they make the soup thicker, but I rarely use them)
2carrotspeeled and chopped
1/2of a large head of cauliflowerchopped (about 3½ cups)
1½teaspoonsaltneeded with homemade stock, not so much with canned, so be sure to taste
1½cupgrated sharp cheddar cheesemedium will work, but sharp has the best flavor
chivesdill or parsley for garnishing (optional)
In a large saucepan, combine the stock, potatoes (if using), onion, carrots, garlic, and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the mustard, black pepper, and salt if needed, and puree all the ingredients with an immersion blender right in the pan (alternately, transfer portions of the soup to a blender to puree, but be careful with the hot soup!).
Reduce the heat to low and add the cheese and milk, stirring well.
Continue to cook over low heat for about 5 more minutes until the soup is warmed through and the cheese is all melted. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Garnish with herbs if desired before serving.
Make Ahead: this soup stores well for a week or more, so you can make it early for dinner or lunch prep.