Sunday, April 19, 2015

April Showers (Rainy Day Cauliflower Soup)

If April Showers bring May Flowers, we are in for a bumper crop.

But I’m really not complaining.  This morning perfect for a long walk.  Then the rain started, which gave me a great excuse to do the annual Winter to Spring Clothes Switcheroo, get some laundry done, and make a batch of cauliflower soup.
Silky smooth. And dairy-free.
Love it when a plan comes together.

I’ve been thinking about this recipe for a few weeks, after a friend and I had a silky smooth cup of cauliflower soup at a local restaurant.  Finally I put my ideas to the test, and by golly it worked.  

The secret ingredients?  A russet potato and a dash (or two) of nutmeg.  Oh, and a trusty hand held emersion blender is mandatory.  But get this -- there is no heavy cream, half and half, or even milk.  I really didn't think it was possible, but gave it a shot.

Here’s what I did:

Cauliflower Soup
Serves 6-8

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, white and light only, sliced in half, rinsed well, and then cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into flowerets and stem removed
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (you may want to use a tad bit more at the end; but go easy with it.)
  • Kosher Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 box low sodium chicken stock
  • Chopped chives for garnish

  • Heat the olive oil and melt the butter in a medium sized Dutch Oven.  Then add the onion, celery, leeks and garlic, sauté until softened
  • Next add the cauliflower and potato to the pot, stir and season with a couple pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, plus a shake or two of nutmeg, stir to combine
  • Now add the box of stock, partially cover and bring to a boil
  • Then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potato and cauliflower are soft. 
  • Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. 
  • Then pulse with an emersion blender until you reach a silky smooth consistency.  I worked across the pot in rows, lifting the unit up and down between pulses.  Then finished it off with a back and forth motion.  Take your time.  The results are worth it.
  • Taste and asjust the seasoning.  A bit more salt, pepper and / or nutmeg as needed.
  • To serve, garnish with chopped chives.