Silky Smooth: Cauliflower Soup

Silky Smooth:  Cauliflower Soup

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Have we hit the first day of fall? Seems like I read that somewhere.  

If that be the case, I think soup is in order. Yes, definitely.  And some fresh bread, but then again, fresh bread is always in order.

Of all the dishes that we ate in Iceland, the one that really stuck out, maybe because it channeled a little bit of the taste of home, was the cauliflower soup from Icelandic Fish and Chips.  Sure the seafood everywhere was fresh and delicious.  And the lamb…unmatched by anything we have back home.  Perhaps it is for that very reason that I chose to recreate this particular dish…it’s attainable for all of us who don’t have access to those types of ingredients year round- or ever, really.

Plus, if anyone knows a thing or two about staying warm from the inside out, I suspect Iceland does.

I adapted this recipe from a chicken version that mom used to make as a kid, keeping it veg and creamy, without really any cream.  The beauty of this soup comes from its simplicity;  5 ingredients will get you a really amazing soup.  Add a few more for richness;  unnecessary, but always welcome.  I decided to leave this simple and stunning, served with warm spelt bread, and garnished with the crisp spelt bread croutons made from the same, keeping in line with what we had in Iceland. However, my brain whizzed with possibilities in how to make this into almost a completely different soup.  Bacon for texture? Pesto for garnish?  The canvas is blank.

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Serve it with your favorite bread:  brown, spelt*, dealer’s choice, but please use salted butter. It’s a game changer.  Yes, really.

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*Spelt bread, spelt crepes…spelt everywhere. I don’t know, but it was good!

Recipe Notes:

Now, I hate to be all Ina and Martha preachy about this (I love you, Ina!), but homemade stock, especially this rad cheese stock, from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen is really just so much better than store bought (don’t hate- I speak the truth!).  I don’t always practice what I preach, and use the good ole’ box myself from time to time, and realize that pre-planning isn’t always my (or anyone’s) forte, but if you can, make your own.  It’s so easy! You know all those Netflix hours you’re planning on logging this winter (don’t deny it…)? Before you tuck in, throw a pot of stock on the stove and let it go, and 2 episodes of House of Cards later, you’ll have yourself some homemade stock.  Seriously, only 2 episodes.  We all know how fast those hours seem to fly when you look up and realize you’ve been on the couch for 7 hours. Be like Nike- Just do it. (Query- I don’t like politics at all, but loved the West Wing. Would I like HOC? I am planning for a lot of Netflix hours this winter and am taking suggestions.)

One of my least favorite cooking tasks is washing vegetables. Lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower. No. I usually take the shortcut and buy frozen because it’s all ready to go, but for some reason today I decided to use fresh.  I immediately regretted it when I had little cauliflower bits all over my kitchen floor.  What I’m saying to you is fresh or frozen, do as you like, but just make sure you have a total of about 2 1/2 pounds.

The croutons are made in the same style as those from the panzanella with spelt bread.  I made the spot bread using my brown bread recipe and subbing spelt flour for the whole wheat. Easy peasy.

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For some reason, my recipe card wasn’t working today. I’ll work to get that fixed, but in the meantime, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 TB unsalted butter

1 TB all-purpose flour

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 tsp Hungarian paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cleaned and chopped into medium bits

6 cups stock (chicken, vegetable, cheese…you go)

3-4 TB heavy cream (optional)

Parsley (optional) to garnish

Croutons, to garnish

Bread to serve

Directions:

In a large stock pot, melt the butter and add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon to make a roux, where the flour stops looking pasty white and is more light brown. Add the paprika and let toast about 1 minutes.

Add the onion, mix into the roux and let sweat until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and stock and let simmer about 45 minutes until the cauliflower is fall-apart tender.

Using a regular or immersion blender, puree the hot soup until completely smooth.  If using, stir in the cream, and serve with croutons.

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