Creamy Cauliflower Soup...
Creamy Cauliflower Soup "sans" Cream....
How do you sell Cauliflower soup to a house full of people known for their epic aversion to the vegetable.
book last Friday's beef daube came from. Wasn't that the best braised meat you've had in a long time" I countered hoping that the power of association is strong enough to make them want to take the plunge into the soup! "That was beef stewed in wine for hours how does it relate to boiled cauliflower? DO you see any similarities because I don't" came the reply and in all fairness I get the point!
"It is creamy and velvety and it doesn't really taste like cauliflower at all" I found myself screaming from the kitchen as they walk away with a piece of bread and a slice of cheese on the plate...
"But I put bacon in it" I finally say exasperating.... "mmmm OK, I guess I'll give it a try! After all everything tastes better with bacon!!!"
OK, I might have exaggerated a bit here, but more or less this is how it went down in the kitchen today. Cauliflower is not glamorous and not the easiest dish to sell, especially when it it quite sunny outside and no one is suffering from a stuffy nose and is in need of a soothing pottage.
I for one, love cauliflower, in any version! Boiled and mashed up with a bit of lemon and herbs, roasted, oozing with cheese from the oven, even as a substitute for rice - the famous cauli-rice for those of you conversant in "Paleo talk". There was no way this pot of velvety, fragrant, white magic would go to waste. The challenge was to get the rest to try just a bit (I would never dare think of converting them to cauli-lovers) and in the end I managed just that. M-i-L had about half a bowl and declared it "quite good". Honestly I think there's going to be a long time until another head of cauliflower sees the insides of this kitchen!
This is how I tweaked Dorie's recipe for the Creamy Cauliflower Soup sans Cream
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan "Around my French Table"
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large yellow onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
200 gr sticky bacon, cut into small cubes
The leaves of 2 thyme springs
1 cauliflower head, washed, and cut into florets
7 cups of chicken stock
Heat the olive oil into a large stock pot. Add the onions, garlic, half of the bacon cubes, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well and then lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes stirring often.
Add the cauliflower into the pot and pour in the chicken stock. Increase heat until the liquid is starting to boil then reduce heat, cover and let it simmer gently for about 20 minutes (the cauliflower has to be very tender).
In the meantime, heat a small pan and add the remaining bacon. Fry it for 10 - 15 minutes in low heat until it becomes crispy.
When the soup is ready, purée it with an immersion blender until it becomes very smooth and velvety! Ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle them with bacon bits and thyme leaves.
To see how other members of our group enjoyed this recipe visit the French Fridays with Dorie website.