Monday, June 1, 2009

Cream of Cauliflower Soup: The Love of Winter

The humble cauliflower.

Gosh. Where do I even begin?

Doesn't it just look beautiful? It's such a pretty little thing, and yet it is often either hated by kids with a vengeance or people simply cook it to its death and simply won't give it justice.

It's the first day of Winter, and I thought that there would be no better way to celebrate than the good ol' Cream of Cauliflower Soup. Dip a warm buttered piece of bread/toast - whatever you fancy, and it is an instant crowd pleaser in the current dreary dampness Sydney is in at the moment.

This is a recipe that is SERIOUSLY easier than crawling out of bed in the Winter mornings. Seriously. No jokes. It's just that simple. By all means you don't have to stick to this recipe like it's the Bible, feel free to adapt it to your own liking. My Cream of XYZ recipes generally contain lower milk and cream content because I'm lactose-intolerant, so feel free to bump up the quantities for the extra MMM factor.

All you have to do is saute your onions and minced garlic. MAKE SURE they don't burn. Or your soup will be ugly. Nobody likes ugly soup. A soup with brown burnt onion bits in it is like a beautiful face tainted by blackheads. Yes. You get my drift right?

And for those who remember my Camera + Saute Onion = Burnt Onion dilemma two posts ago, well... I've learnt my lesson. I didn't take any photos of that process. I'm sure you all know how to saute onions by now.

Next, toss your cauliflower in with a bit of chicken stock.

News flash. I actually bothered making my own stock this time! Woohoo! It was just a simple one made by bubbling water for 3 hours with chicken carcass, salt and some spring onions. I didn't want overly complex flavours because I wanted the sweetness of the cauliflower to come through.

Afterwards, just buzz it through a blender. Do it in small batches. Please.
Oh. And remember to take the vent-lid thing off. You know that small middle section? You don't want your soup to explode on you. Trust me. I've done it before and my mother was NOT impressed.

Transfer it to another pot after you've finished, and add butter, milk and cream and heat it through again. All the buzzing would've cooled the soup down, and it's Winter. We have enough cold as it is - we don't want cold soup.

If I were following Tetsuya's cookbook I would've whipped up a little cream and plonked it in the middle of the bowl before serving. However, all the cream would just go straight to my hips and stay there, so I held off the cream.

Serve with a few slices of buttered toast and voila!

Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Serves: 4

50g Butter, portioned into 2 even parts
1 Medium Cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 Onion, diced
2 Garlic, minced
2 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Cream

(Note of honesty: I used Spring Onions to garnish purely for photo purposes. I pulled them out straight after I finished shooting)

  1. Sweat onions and garlic with butter until onions are translucent
  2. Add cauliflower with stock, bring to boil, then simmer with lid on
  3. After 15mins (more or less depending on what type of pot you use and how big the cauliflower is), turn the heat off. The cauliflower should be quite tender.
  4. Cream using blender in small batches, then transfer into another pot
  5. After creaming all of the soup, turn heat on low and add milk, cream and the remaining butter. Stir gently
  6. Turn off heat once butter is melted through.
  7. Serve with warm buttered toast/bread roll/crusty sourdough.
Nom it while it's hot

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