Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cauliflower Soup

I'm really loving the brisk, fall weather we're enjoying right now! The crisp air feels somewhat cleansing, even if it may not be so here in polluted New York City. ;)

My immersion blender gets to become the workhorse appliance when the mercury starts to drop. I absolutely cannot get enough of blended soups! I've tried so many varieties and this here is a solid go-to. I had a huge head of cauliflower waiting for me to rescue it from the fridge and instead of roasting them in 'steak' form as I'm apt to do, I decided to incorporate the whole head as a creamy, luscious soup - without the dairy.

This cauliflower soup truly warms you from the inside out. The tinge of orange from the carrots screams autumn, doesn't it? We enjoyed ours with Swedish pancakes, but the soup would be delicious alongside a nice sandwich, warmed up and toasted like a panini. Healthy, affordable and tasty - all the hallmarks of a solid meal, if you ask me!

Cauliflower Soup
Serves 3-4

2 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 TB butter
1 head cauliflower, leaves and core removed, florets and stems cut into chunks
1 large or 2 smaller carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 cups water or chicken broth, plus about 1 cup more to thin to desired consistency
1 cube chicken bouillon (if using water only)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche, optional
Parsley sprig to garnish, optional

Warm up extra virgin olive oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. When foaming, add diced onions. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent, about 6-8 minutes.

Add cauliflower florets and saute another few minutes. Add liquid, making sure it just covers the vegetables. If using bouillon cube, crush with fingers and add now. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer with a lid partially ajar for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until the carrots resist when pierced with a fork.

Turn off heat. Carefully blend until smooth - it will probably look thick. Add more liquid until you reach desired soup consistency (I like it neither too thin nor too thick). Season with salt (if needed - remember, bouillon is salty!) and pepper.

Portion out soup in bowls, top with sour cream or crème fraîche and parsley sprig, if desired. Enjoy warm right away! :)


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