June 29, 2010

Improved Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Here is one of my favorites.  A rich, creamy, luxurious soup with no cream.  I use potatoes and milk for thickening to keep it a bit more lean.   I make this and many versions just about weekly, and my mood dictates what if any new veggie will make it into the pot.  Sometimes I add broccoli and/or spinach for a nice combo (great way to sneak some veggies to your kids).  Garlic and white beans added to the cauliflower is a great starter to a Tapas meal.  Of course, a bit of cheddar cheese added to the soup makes a super yummy treat.  

When it comes to blending it up, I love a totally creamy soup, but you can leave a bit chunky if you so wish.

Now here are my thoughts when it comes to white pepper versus black pepper...Some swear by using the white pepper in a light-colored dish solely because if you use black pepper you will see the black flecks in the finished dish...(aesthetic reasons only).  Black pepper tends to be stronger in flavor than white, which is a bit sweeter.  I prefer the spiciness more in the black pepper and really don't care about the black flecks in my soup.  So there you have it.  

Pairing Suggestion:  A nice compliment would be a spicy berry-flavored Grenach , usually very soft on your palate. 

Creamy Cauliflower Soup 
Serves 4-6

3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped 
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 large head of cauliflower, separated into florets
4 cups of water or chicken broth 
1 cup of milk ( I used low fat)
1/3 cup of dry sherry
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or white pepper)
1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Fresh toasted croutons to garnish (see recipe below)

In a large dutch oven/soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Stir in onions, garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in potatoes and cauliflower and cook 5 minutes more.  Pour in water or broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.  15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat.  

Puree in batches using a blender/food processor,  (or in pot if using an immersion blender.)  Return to low heat and stir in milk, salt and pepper, nutmeg and sherry.  Heat through and serve.  My favorite garnish for this soup is some freshly toasted croutons and a sprinkle of parsley.

Toasted Croutons
Day old white or French bread/baguette cut into 1 inch pieces (whatever you have on hand will do)
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder or salt (omit kosher salt if using garlic salt)
1/2 cup of light olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cut bread into 1 inch cubes.   Toss cubes in salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil.  Spread evenly in one layer on a cookie sheet. Toast gradually in oven until lightly brown on all sides.   About 10-15 minutes.


1 comment:

♥peachkins♥ said...

Oh wow!!!! I love this soup!