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head cauliflower, cut into florets
ground black pepper
(6 oz.) shredded white cheddar cheese
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
Set aside 12 bite-size cauliflower florets. Coarsely chop remaining cauliflower and set aside.
Drop the 12 florets into the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chopped cauliflower, broth, half-and-half, thyme, pepper and nutmeg.
Cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender. Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pot.
Stir in the cheese and salt until the cheese melts and the soup is heated through, about 3 minutes.
Serve topped with the cauliflower florets.