Roasted Cauliflower Soup

by BiteSizedJessica on December 2, 2011

It’s been a while since Jonathan and I have posted, and we have really missed BiteSized this past month. It’s been a busy time for us both, but we’re so happy to be back!

Even though we haven’t been posting, we have been doing a lot of cooking. We had some Sunday dinners and made some meals for just the two of us also. The one item present at all these dinners has been cauliflower, and I just can’t get enough of it. Jon used to claim he couldn’t eat it on account of his sensitive stomach, but I legitimately think that was just an excuse he was using to get out of eating a healthy vegetable. Once I roasted it for him in my favorite way, with olive oil, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes, he started to come around. I like to roast the florets until they are dark and crispy – nicely browned and crunchy, but not burned.

Our oven is about to bite the dust and has only two settings – off, and a raging 550°. So it can be tricky to make sure stuff doesn’t burn, especially when the two of us put something in there and get distracted and totally forget about it. Somehow at work I manage to remember things in the oven consistently without burning them, but the minute I get home it’s like another, less organized, totally scattered brain takes over and makes me forget things on the stove or in the oven like it’s my job. But yesterday we managed to get the roasted cauliflower out of the oven in time, fortunately.

I had the idea to make roast cauliflower soup because it was cold out yesterday and I thought it’d be a nice change from the roast cauliflower we’ve had every week for a month. When we were buying the cauliflower at the market, the fresh herbs were so fragrant and I thought it’d be fun to fry them in a light tempura batter and serve them with the soup, to keep the crunchy factor that I love about the roasted florets.

We roasted the florets for the soup a little less than I do when we are eating them plain, and I used the cauli stems as a base for the soup, along with an onion and some garlic. I lightly battered and fried the herbs we got at the market – sage, rosemary and parsley.

Our soup and fried herbs snack was a fun and super easy recipe, and it looked really pretty together on the plate. It was definitely a nice change from the roasted florets (although we did make and eat some of those two, the cauli head we got at the market was mammoth). I hope you’ll try this soup, or at least the roasted florets!

INGREDIENTS
(Makes 3 very full quarts)

For the Soup:

2 quarts of cauliflower florets, roasted
1 quart worth of cauliflower stems, thinly sliced
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
3 heads of garlic, chopped
1 quart of chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
Water, as needed
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes
Olive oil
1 tbsp butter

Process:

    1. Separate the cauli stems from the head. Break the head of the cauliflower into florets and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Roast at 425° until lightly browned.
    2. Meanwhile, slice the stem of the cauliflower, slice the onion and chop garlic. Sweat together in a large pot over medium heat in olive oil and butter. Season well with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
    3. When florets are roasty, add to the pot on the stove and cook together for a few minutes to soften. Add stock, bay and water and simmer for about 45 minutes.
    4. Blend soup in food processor (remove bay leaves) and pass through a fine mesh strainer. Serve hot with fried herbs or crusty bread.

For the Fried Herbs:
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

Herbs of your choice, picked off the stem
1 cup all purpose flour
3 heaping tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 ¼ cup ice water
¼ cup cold beer
Salt and pepper

Process:

    1. Pick herbs, use only the nicest leaves.
    2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the water and beer. Don’t mix the batter too much and don’t worry if it is lumpy.
    3. Dip herbs in batter and fry in hot canola oil, just for a few seconds, until crispy.
    4. Lay herbs on a paper towel to dry. Serve with cauli soup.

© 2011 Jonathan Meter and Jessica Hertle

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel December 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

OK, I am sure the soup is delicious! If I ever cooked, I would try it out for sure! Perhaps next year when I return to the world of the living (aka finish grad school). BUT BUT look at that BLING! Love it! XO

Lonnie Beer December 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm

I LOVE cauliflower and applaud you for making Jonathan love it, too. While the soup sounds amazing, it also sounds too rich for everyday, but I like the idea of roasting the cauliflower instead of steaming like usual so I will try that. Also love the bling! Love.

Jessica December 4, 2011 at 7:36 am

I love this recipe! I might end up stealing for my final exam if cauliflower shows up!

Oui, Chef December 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I’m sure the soup is lovely straight-up, but I’m really digging the idea of it served with the fried herbs…very cool!

hungry dog December 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I’m actually a big cauliflower fan, although I didn’t care for it as a kid (I thought it was hideous!). Roasting is definitely the way to go. And I love the fried herbs. Not only do they sound good, they look so lovely and elegant.

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