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 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.
- 6 cups cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1/8 teaspoon anise seed
- 1 1-inch shard of a cinnamon stick
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup milk
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2-inch (approximately) cauliflower florets, roasted in 450 oven for 8 minutes
- Croutons: bread in 1/4-inch cubes, fried in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 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.
- Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and stir in milk. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- 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.
- Yields 4-6 servings or 5 cups of soup.
- 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.
*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.