Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Yield: 3-4 servings as entree
Cauliflower has a natural velvetiness when caramelized and blended, so cream is not needed. Save some of the sautéed mushrooms and parsley for a garnish, drizzle with olive oil, and now it is a soup fit for company! This can easily be served as a filling starter or entrée, especially if you add protein. If feeding a vegetarian, omit the prosciutto and top with cannellini beans. There you have it, a silky, creamy and warm cauliflower soup.
1 medium cauliflower, stem removed, cleaned, and florets finely chopped
1-2 T olive oil or butter
1 leek, cleaned, trimmed of the dark green part, and finely chopped
1-1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, cleaned, thinly sliced and divided
1 T fresh ginger, finely choppe
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 slices prosciutto or pancetta, thinly sliced, with one reserved for garnish (optional)
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium or unsalted)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup Comte or parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish
1 T olive oil for garnish, optional
Parmesan rind for the broth, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread chopped cauliflower on a lightly greased baking sheet for 20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes. Reserve several pieces for garnish. While the cauliflower is roasting, heat olive oil or butter in a 2- or 3-quart pot. Add leeks, mushrooms and ginger. Cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Reserve a few mushrooms for garnish. Add cauliflower, garlic, optional prosciutto, orange zest and 2-3 tablespoons of orange juice. Sauté until tender and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add the stock and parmesan rind to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the rind has melted. Add parsley. While the soup gently simmers, pan fry a slice of sliced prosciutto until crisp, then chop into little pieces for a crispy garnish, if desired. Puree soup with an immersion blender or high-quality blender. Serve and garnish with cheese, reserved mushrooms, prosciutto and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil.
Substitutions and additions: Swap out the prosciutto for shredded cooked chicken or chopped bacon.
The weather is starting to get chilly in Charleston, SC, and this'll help you get warm. What other soups do you like to make when the weather cools down?
-Now We're Cookin'!