Killer Cauliflower Soup, Seriously

Killer Cauliflower Soup, Seriously

How exciting can it be, cauliflower soup? Well you just make this and see. You’ll be doing a great service for yourself and your family, possibly the country, the world… The recipe comes from our sublime cook at Rancho La Zaca, Chef Stephanie Valentine. You might think “chef” sounds pretentious […]

How exciting can it be, cauliflower soup? Well you just make this and see. You’ll be doing a great service for yourself and your family, possibly the country, the world…

Cauliflower
Chef Stephanie took this photo of our beloved cruciferous comestible.

The recipe comes from our sublime cook at Rancho La Zaca, Chef Stephanie Valentine. You might think “chef” sounds pretentious but that is what she is and not one whisk less. She’s cute too. This is her recipe. You’re going to be hearing a lot more about her.

Stephanie Valentine
Stephanie Valentine. Photo by her equally talented husband, John Fitzpatrick.
Cauliflower Soup
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Soup
  1. 6 cups cauliflower florets
  2. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  3. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
  4. 1/8 teaspoon cumin seed
  5. 1/8 teaspoon coriander seed
  6. 1/8 teaspoon anise seed
  7. 1 1-inch shard of a cinnamon stick
  8. 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  9. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  10. 4 cups chicken stock
  11. 1/2 cup milk
  12. Salt and pepper
Garnish (optional but good)
  1. 1/2-inch (approximately) cauliflower florets, roasted in 450 oven for 8 minutes
  2. Croutons: bread in 1/4-inch cubes, fried in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small stock pot over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic and herbs in olive oil until soft. Stir frequently so the garlic won't burn.
  2. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and stir in milk. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool. If you're in a hurry, put the pot in an ice bath. When cool, puree in blender.* For a velvety texture, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Re-heat gently, then garnish and serve.
Notes
  1. Yields 4-6 servings or 5 cups of soup.
  2. Stephanie says you can also make this with curry powder for a different, spicy effect. In that case omit the red pepper and perhaps roast the cauliflower garnish with a little lemon, shallot and parsley. Sprinkle with a bit of chopped mint. I've had it this way too and it is superb.
Frances Schultz http://www.francesschultz.com/
Cutting a cauliflower
Stephanie first cuts the cauliflower in half, then carves out the thick center stem.

 

Cutting a cauliflower
Works like a charm.
onion and herbs
The onion and herbs are ready to go. The little brown thing at left is the chard of cinnamon.
stock pot
This is a very handy size stockpot. I am too lazy to go measure it, but it
Cauliflower soup
The secret

*Chef’s Secrets: A high-speed blender. Stephanie says it is the key to achieving that wonderful creamy texture without the cream, or without much cream, anyway. We hear Costco has high-speed blenders, such as the Vita-Mix, for under $400. Straining the soup through a fine mesh strainer is the second key. Use the bottom of a ladle to push it through. This gets out the lingering bits of seed. Speaking of seed, you could use powdered versions of the spices called for, but they won’t have quite the same depth.
**Edi-belle’s Confession: Would I make it even without the super-blender and the strainer? Yep.

7 Comments

  1. Stephanie is such a talented chef – thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

  2. Christine Cunningham

    Frances- great photos- beautiful shot of Stephanie!! I work for a couple out in the Santa Rita Hills, and we made parsnip soup last night. I could have used the reminder to run it through a sieve- it was wonderful, but that extra touch would have been nice!

  3. Karon Cullen

    Frances, I cannot wait to make this soup. I’m always looking for ways to use vegetables from our winter garden to freeze and use for spring and summer dinners. This recipe will be perfect. Thank you!

  4. Carolin Ehmer

    Thanks a lot for this great recipe from Munich, Bavaria, Germany!! Can’t wait to serve it to my boys tomorrow.

  5. Eating it now, so yummy. I doubled the spices and topped with homemade garlic croutons and Maldon smoked sea salt

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