Sunday, November 21, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

When I was a little girl, I liked very few foods.  I didn’t even like cheese!  I went through a phase where I would  even scrape the cheese off of pizza.  Needless to say, my mom had quite a time getting me to like many of the dinners she prepared.  One dinner I really enjoyed however was a simple potato soup with bacon.  As the weather starts to turn cold, I’ve been thinking about this soup.  As you’ve read, I’ve found that cauliflower is a wonderfully satisfying stand-in for potatoes.  So, I set out to find a simple cauliflower soup that might satisfy my craving for  my mom’s potato soup.  The recipe below is modified from one I found on 

2 small heads cauliflower
3 garlic cloves
¼ large red onion, cut into large pieces
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut cauliflower into 1-inch flowerets (about 10 cups).  In a large baking pan toss cauliflower, garlic, and onion with extra virgin olive oil to coat.  
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in middle of oven about 30 minutes, or until golden.
In a large pot simmer broth, water and herbs together with the roasted cauliflower mixture until the cauliflower is very tender (about 20 minutes). 
Discard bay leaf and transfer half the contents of the pot to a blender and puree.  Add the rest of the mixture to the blender and puree until incorporated.  Puree for only a few seconds for a chunky consistency or until smooth if you prefer.  Stir in salt and pepper to taste and cream if using.  Sprinkle more fresh thyme on top if desired.
This recipe yields approximately three or four main course servings.  It would be delicious sprinkled with some crisp, turkey bacon bits if you want a little something more.  

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