Monday, December 23, 2013

Creamed Cauliflower Soup

This rich and creamy soup will make you rethink your childhood misgivings about cauliflower.

Creamed Cauliflower Soup with Homemade Croutons | Taste As You Go
Creamed Cauliflower Soup with Homemade Croutons

Cauliflower wasn't exactly my favorite vegetable when I was a kid. In its defense, though, I will say that it was never presented to me in a flattering light. My mother would either serve it in a bowl of steamed mixed vegetables that were in desperate need of basic seasoning (sorry, Mom) or on a crudité platter at a family party or gathering. Not even a generous helping of French onion dip could save those cauliflower florets from being completely ignored.


The Lemonade Cookbook - Alan Jackson and JoAnn Cianciulli | Taste As You Go
The Lemonade Cookbook - Alan Jackson and JoAnn Cianciulli

Thankfully, I didn't completely give up on cauliflower, and in the wiser years of adulthood (ha!), I learned to really love it. I think it really says something that the first recipe I wanted to try after reading through The Lemonade Cookbook by Alan Jackson and JoAnn Cianciulli was the one for Creamed Cauliflower Soup!

Now, I've never actually eaten at Lemonade, the casual Los Angeles eatery after which the cookbook is named and whose recipes are featured in the cookbook itself. But after doing a little research about the restaurant, I quickly added Lemonade to my ever-growing list of must-try dining establishments for its practice of offering visitors a rotating daily spread of fresh marketplace salads, unique sandwiches, and slow-simmered soups and stews that emphasis an inventive global taste.

I just love how The Lemonade Cookbook makes the process of preparing their signature dishes so accessible, even those with an international flair and seemingly intimidating ingredients.

Creamed Cauliflower Soup with Homemade Croutons | Taste As You Go
Creamed Cauliflower Soup with Homemade Croutons

I originally served this Creamed Cauliflower Soup with toasted baguette slices that had been lightly rubbed with garlic and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil. When Stephen and I started tackling the leftovers (this recipe made plenty for dinner and then some!), I served it with some homemade croutons on the top. The soup certainly doesn't need anything extra on the side... I just wanted something there with a crunchy texture to provide some contrast.

'Cause that's just how I roll.

Creamed Cauliflower Soup

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled, halved, and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2.5 pounds cauliflower, coarsely chopped (including stems)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (plus more for serving)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (plus more for serving)
  • 1 1/2 quarts low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven or soup pot with the extra-virgin olive oil and place over medium heat. 
  2. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onions, garlic, cauliflower, and bay leaf. Cook and stir until the vegetables begin to soften but do not brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Gently pour the chicken broth into the pot and increase the heat to medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Add the potatoes and continue to cook until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the cream and add the pinch of ground nutmeg. Gently simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the unsalted butter and then puree the mixture with an immersion blender until completely smooth.
  7. Divide among warmed soup bowls and season each serving to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with toasted baguette slices on the side or homemade croutons on the top (optional).
Recipe by Michelle Rittler | Taste As You Go // Adapted from The Lemonade Cookbook

Taste As You Go Disclaimer: I was provided a review copy of The Lemonade Cookbook at no cost to me. I did not accept monetary compensation for this post; however, this post does contain affiliate product links. Clicking on the links may result in my being paid a commission based on product sales. Regardless of commission, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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