Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cauliflower Soup

I love cauliflower! I think it's a very underestimated vegetable. It tastes good raw, steamed, baked, roasted and smothered in cheese sauce. I'm also a fan of mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes. I know - it's a huge debate among dieters and carb-watchers (with cauliflower usually losing). But, I generally find mashed potatoes kind of boring and bland to begin with so they started off down a point.

As previously mentioned, I printed off some recipes from 101 Cookbooks to try and one of them was a cauliflower and gorgonzola cheese soup. The first time I made it specific to Heidi's instructions. This second time I felt like I'd already kind of gotten a hang of it and strayed from the recipe a little bit, plus I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand.

To start, chop about 2 cups of onions. I used a medium sized yellow onion and half of a red onion I had on hand. Saute these in the bottom of a pot with some butter or olive oil (I used olive oil) until translucent.

Next, take a medium sized cauliflower and chop into smaller pieces. You don't need to be neat since it's all going in the blender. Throw these pieces into the pot with the onions and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour 4 cups of stock into the pot, along with spices of your choice and a few bay leaves. I used a mix of Italian seasonings (parsley, thyme, basil, oregano) and 2 small leaves. Johnny usually has a problem with bouillon and broths so for a long time I avoided soups. Then I found a Vegetarian vegetable bouillon by Knorr's and we "tested" a small amount one brave evening and he was fine! What a lifesaver because I love making soups during transition seasons and on a chilly winter evening.

After everything is in the pot, seasoned and cooking away, put a cover on it and let it continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes until the cauliflower is nice and tender. The original recipe called for creme fraiche, which I didn't have on hand, so I just splashed a little 1% milk to give it a creamy feel. I think the soup would also be perfectly fine and just as tasty leaving out the milk, and I plan to try this in the future. Then throw in as much gorgonzola cheese your taste permits. The original recipe called for a cup, but Heidi reduced it to 1/3 of a cup. That was still a little overpowering for me, so this time I just threw in what felt right- it probably ended up being about 1/4 of a cup. Stir it in the last minute or so and let it melt.While this is happening you want to set up an assembly line that looks a little something like this:

Ladle small amounts of the hot soup into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. If you're going to be using a Cuisinart (like I did) please, please make note of the Max Fill line on the side. The first time I made this I scoffed at the idea that the people at Cuisinart knew what they were talking about. That's the Max?? It's only 2 inches up the side of the container! Liquid would never be able to reach the top of the bowl and spill out! Well, I was correct - it didn't reach the top of the bowl to spill out, but it did reach the top of the blade, which is not a waterproof seal and oozed all underneath and from the bottom of the machine. Just listen to them - they know what they're talking about. It usually takes me three or four small refills, but it's worth it to avoid the clean up. *As previously mentioned Johnny's mom loves giving. Whether it's vegetables and eggs on Sunday, or fancy jewelry at Christmas and birthdays. By last Christmas I had racked up 5 necklaces. Not a big jewelry wearer, I returned one with a gift receipt and darted to the kitchen section to indulge myself on a much-wished-for black and brushed stainless steel 14 cup capacity piece of heaven. Diamonds aren't every girls best friend! ;)

Before you blend the soup will look like this:

Afterwards it'll be a nice, smooth, creamy texture. You'll want to throw it back in the pot and bring it up to temperature again. Then, ladle into a bowl and enjoy a nice, hearty soup that utilizes cauliflower's healthy benefits of being low in fat and high in dietary fiber and vitamin C.


Anonymous said...

Christina. I never could peel a hard boiled egg without half the whites coming off. I am totally going to have to try that! My deviled eggs will look pretty now, not bumpy!!

Christina said...

I know!!! I'm really excited to try it myself.

Laura said...

Oh I love cauliflower!!! Thanks for linking up to Just Another Meatless Monday!

April@The 21st Century Housewife said...

Your recipe sounds great, and I love your story about the food processor over flowing. I do stuff like that too!