In a large pot, sauté the bacon bits in the oil until crispy. Remove from the pot and set aside.
In the same pot, heat the butter and gently sauté the onion, carrot and celery until soft and aromatic.
Add the cauliflower, vermouth and rice. Cover with a double layer of wet baking paper as well as a tight fitted lid and allow to steam until almost tender.
Pour in the hot stock and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is completely soft (do not overcook). Add the cream.
With a stick blender, blend the vegetables until smooth.
Add the cheese and mix until it is all melted into the soup. Add more hot stock if the soup is too thick.
Stir in the parsley.
Add the sautéed bacon bits and reserve some for garnishing.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Add freshly ground nutmeg to taste.
Serve with crusty sourdough bread.
Reprinted with permission of Bits of Carey.
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