Roasted Cauliflower Soup
I have a confession to make…I am a sucker for soup. Soup of all kinds, vegetable, noodle, chicken, beef, whatever. As long as it’s got some semblance of brothy goodness, I’m falling for it…hook, line, and sinker! Nothing comforts or reminds me of home and family like a good bowl of soup, no matter where I am. Plus, I find that as I get older, my ability to withstand and enjoy the cold is fast waning. Naturally, as the season begins to take a turn for the cooler side of things, the first thing I’m reaching for is, of course, another bowl of hot soup.
Vegetable soups in particular I think get take a second seat to their protein laden cousins. I think the tendency for most is that when given a choice between say, chicken/beef soup vs vegetable soup, most of us are choosing the former. I’m not really sure why, but I think instinctively, when we hear vegetable soup, an image of tasteless broth filled with a mindless combination of cubed, boring veggies comes to mind. I’m here to tell you though, fear that tasteless cubed veggie concoction no more! This vegetable soup was essentially my gateway veggie soup…the first soup I had and made entirely of vegetables that was simply amazing and opened my eyes to the other possibilities that is “vegetable soup”
I first made this soup about a year or so ago as a part of a convalescence strategy for post-wisdom teeth extraction. Aside from when I made the said patient first say “antidisestablishmentarianism” with a mouthful of gauze and swollen chipmunk cheeks before serving this soup, the dish was a tremendous success! Roasting the cauliflower gives this soup an extra dimension of sweetness mixed with a tinge of smokiness if you will. The fresh thyme gives it just the right amount of savory to bring out an extra depth of flavor without overpowering it. I personally like to sprinkle just a smidge of good parmesan in each bowl right before serving to give it that little something special. Either way, this soup is quite simply DELICIOUS.
Aside from its obvious healing properties (ahem, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!), this soup is ridiculously easy to make. Have your hand blender at the ready and this soup comes together in a snap! Simply roast the cauliflower, then simmer it in a seasoned broth, buzz to puree it, add cream, and voila! A delicious, hearty soup that is great as a 1st course to any special meal.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Adapted from Gourmet | December 1997
2 heads cauliflower
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2 cups heavy cream
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Cut cauliflower into 1-inch florets (about 10 cups). In a large baking pan toss cauliflower, garlic, and shallots with oil to coat and roast in middle of oven about 30 minutes, or until golden.
In a 4-quart kettle simmer broth, water, roasted cauliflower mixture, and herbs 30 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender. Discard bay leaf. Using a hand blender, carefully puree the soup until smooth (remembering to use caution as liquid will be very hot!). Once pureed through, stir in cream, salt and pepper to taste. Heat soup over moderate heat until just heated through.
I prefer my soup sprinkled with just a bit of good parmesan cheese before serving. Soup may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.