Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cream of Cauliflower Soup


 I realize that making a soup in July may not be the most appetizing meal.  However, I thought that my first foray into consuming cauliflower should be something that would be comforting regardless of the weather.  Even if the ingredients included "the" vegetable, it also included yummy things such as butter and cream.
     This is fantastic and I think it would go very well not only in winter but in summer.  I did not think that the soup had to be served steaming hot.  That being said, I would not serve it cold - but lukewarm is ok.  The consistency is creamy, the flavor of the soup is subtle and the addition of the chorizo breadcrumbs brings a bit of spice and crunch.
     However, before I give you the recipe, let me rant for just a moment.  When did we turn into a society that must utter the word "like" fifteen times in one sentence.  I was listening to a podcast this afternoon as I was making the soup and I found myself counting how many times the moderator said the word "like" rather than listening to the actual content of the show.  It was "like" the time when you "like" ate the tomato and it "liked"... Good grief, is there no other word?  I do not know the reason for it but honestly, in my opinion, it makes the most intelligent of people sound ignorant.  Listen to ourselves!  (As I write this, I know I will be listening to myself tonight...and counting.)
     Anyway, back to the soup, which is much more important.  Keep this one in your back pocket - lovely first course, lovely light lunch with a salad and super, super easy.  Most of the items you will have in your pantry except perhaps the chorizo (unless you are me...and you have a freezer full of all sorts of goodies).  No joke...take a look at my inventory list which I keep on a wall painted with chalkboard paint in my garage.  It is a bit out of control...but so much fun!

    Yes, yes...the soup.

Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chorizo Bread Crumbs
Adapted from Food and Wine

Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chorizo Bread Crumbs


4 T unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 large head of cauliflower separated into florets
6 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
3 ounces of chorizo, finely chopped
3/4 cup panko

Note:  I didn't have thyme so I omitted it.  I also did not want to break open my brand new box of panko so I used dry bread crumbs - it worked.

1.  In a large soup pot, melt the butter.   Add diced onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the cauliflower florets and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook over low heat until the cauliflower is very tender, about 25 minutes.  You can discard the thyme and bay leaf but I forgot to take out the bay leaf ended up pureeing it with the soup.  Oops!

2.  Puree the soup in a blender or food processor.  I used my favorite kitchen appliance, an immersion blender, and it made the process so mess, no splatters.  If you use an immersion blender, then once pureed, add the cream and salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.  If you used a blender or food processor, transfer soup to a clean pan, then add salt, pepper and cream.

3.  In a medium skillet, cook the chopped chorizo over moderate heat until almost crisp.  Add the panko or bread crumbs and stir frequently until the crumbs are crisp.

4.  Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and sprinkle with chorizo bread crumbs.  Serve at once before the bread crumbs get soggy.

Et Voila!

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