I have been on a big available-in-winter vegetable kick lately, craving things like brussels sprouts, broccoli, parsnips, etc. I love, love love cauliflower, and brought home a big head of it last weekend to make soup out of. The recipe came from the Williams-Sonoma Soups cookbook, which I received as a wedding gift together with the soup bowls I completely forgot to pull out the other night (oops!), but I simplified it a little since it called for spices I didn’t have on hand. Very quick and easy though:
Sauté a thinly sliced onion in olive oil for a couple minutes, until it starts to brown, add a few cloves of minced garlic, sauté those for a minute, add in a head of cauliflower (cut into florets, leave in any stem that is tender (peel it)) and 4 cups of stock, bring to a simmer and cook 15 minutes or so until the cauliflower is tender. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender. Stir in one cup of sharp cheddar cheese; season to taste.
Yum. I love how cauliflower, once it’s pureed on its own or in soup, could almost pass for potatoes but it has a little bit of a more intriguing flavor to it. You couldn’t really taste the cheese, but it added substance and depth to the soup, and thickened it a little. We ate huge bowls for dinner with a few slices of toasted sourdough to dunk in it, and then wolfed the leftovers yesterday. No photos, because this was very white-on-white; not much to see. I would make it for a dinner party first course (it’s really quite elegant), garnished with a little something to make it stand out. I also have another recipe, similar but without cheddar and with pecorino curls and some truffle oil on top, that is much dressier.
Next up: Experiments with parsnips and turnips, both of which are languishing in the veggie drawer right now.