Cooking for Seven on Sep 4th 2012
Hello friends! Can believe August is over? This summer has been super-busy. I must admit to looking forward to the cooler months when things will slow down a bit and we can breathe.
Throughout the summer, the thought of heating up our small house by turning on the oven doesn’t excite me one bit. But as the weather begins to whisper of fall, my interest in cooking is rekindled.
My favorite fall/winter supper is soup. Once you know the basic steps for most soups, it’s so easy to customize and create to your preferences. And there’s just something cozy about a bowl of steaming soup.
But on to the soup at hand.
Cauliflower has never been my favorite veggie. On a scale of 1 to beets, it’s about an eight. Then one day, my grandma taught us how to make steamed cauliflower with buttered breadcrumbs. I softened. A little. Then I saw Katie’s recipe for Roasted Garlic & Cauliflower Soup. I caved.
I’m so glad I did. Once roasted, the cauliflower develops a lovely flavor. The hints of celery, thyme and roasted garlic are amazing. You should definitely try this soup, even if you are a cauliflower hater. It just might change your mind!
- The original recipe looks quite long and complicated. Do not fear! It comes together quite easily.
- Also, this recipe is very forgiving. I didn’t have any white wine on hand, so I replaced it with more chicken broth. We’re not huge on bay leaves, so I left that out as well. The bacon suggested sounds yummy, but I think it’s completely optional.
- 1 whole head cauliflower
- 1 large whole head garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus up to 2 more as needed for desired consistency
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced parsley
- 1/3 cup half and half
- 3 ounces cooked and crumbled bacon
- additional oil for serving - olive oil or truffle oil
1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.) Cut cauliflower into individual florets. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
3.) Cut the top off of the head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap with foil. Place wrapped garlic on the baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower and garlic at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. When the cauliflower is tender and golden remove from the oven.
4.) The garlic will need to roast for a total of about 25-30 minutes. You can remove it to check it’s progress as needed - it should smell fragrant but not raw, be golden and tender.
5.) Meanwhile, heat the butter in a cast iron dutch oven or medium-large stock pot. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and flour and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
6.) Add the wine and water, whisking to combine with the flour mixture. Then, slowly add in the 2 cups broth. Add the bay leave and roasted garlic cloves. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
7.) Remove the bay leaf. Working in batches, add the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until pureed and smooth. Add additional broth during or after blending to achieve desired consistency. After all the batches have been completed, return to the pot. Stir in the half and half and parsley. Cook until just heated through. Adjust salt and pepper for tastes.
8.) Serve immediately, topped with bacon and a drizzle of olive or truffle oil and a side of bread for dipping