Today’s recipe is dedicated to this fine vegetable called Cauliflower. To be precise, it is dedicated to a Cauliflower Soup. Need I say how healthy this creamy-looking vegetable is? OK, you talked me into it! Cauliflower is full of dietary fiber, rich in vitamin C and a perfect fighting remedy against multiple types of cancer. That is if you choose to cut it in pieces and eat it raw. I am not sure if it keeps the cancer fighting benefits once cooked. It is also very low in carbohydrates and a perfect substitute for potatoes in many meals. If you like broccoli, you’d better like cauliflower :) They are the same type of “animal” except for the color.
Cauliflowers can be prepared in many different ways. When we were little my mom used to steam it, dip it in the egg wash and fry it! It was deliciousness. But we will come back to it sometime later. Today I want to attract your attention to this delicious Cauliflower Soup which can be prepared relatively fast but it tastes incredible.
It is believed that this particular recipe was introduced to French King Luis XV by Madame du Barry. In case you are not aware of who Madame du Barry was, she was a well known courtesan in France and a mistress to Luis XV. If you read novels of Alexander Dumas, you probably know who I am talking about :) If you haven’t done so already, please do. I love the way he narrates and incorporates history in to his writings.
- 1 small or medium cauliflower head
- 3 cups of water
- 1 medium onion
- 1/4 cup scallions whites
- 2 Tbsp butter or canola oil
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 Tsp salt
- pinch of black pepper
- pinch of nutmeg OR dried ginger
- cilantro for a garnish
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Home made croutons
Wash the cauliflower, remove green leaves and the core. Chop up the cauliflower roughly in small pieces. YES, release those cancer fighting elements! Spare 1 cup for garnish. Place chopped cauliflower in the pan, pour the water and place the pan on the heated stove top. Bring the water to boil, turn the heat down and let the cauliflower simmer for 7-10 minutes until cooked.
Once the cauliflower is cooked, place it in the blender along with the remaining liquid. Puree it smooth and put aside until further use.
The following process you can perform while the cauliflower is getting cooked. Thinly slice the scallion whites and thinly chop the onions. Melt the butter in medium pan, add the scallion and onions.
On medium high heat saute the onion mixture until it softens up a little. Add half of the milk (1 cup). Close the lid of the pan and let everything simmer on low heat until the onions are thoroughly cooked.
Keep checking on the onions. Milk burns fast, you do not want that happening. Once the onion mixture is ready, add the 1 Tbsp flour and stir everything well into a paste. Add the remaining milk and turn the heat up. After this stage keep stirring constantly until the soup starts to boil. Stirring will also prevent the milk from running and burning the bottom. Once the milk mixture starts to boil, add the cauliflower puree. Note that if you want your soup to be super creamy, it is worth blending the onion together with the milk before adding the cauliflower puree. I personally like to actually taste the onions in this soup. So, I skip blending the onions.
Add the nutmeg OR ginger, salt and black pepper if you wish. I add black pepper and cilantro before I serve the soup. If you want to add the Parmesan cheese, this is the time to do so. Turn the heat off, close the lid of the pan and let the soup rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Home Made Croutons:
This soup is especially good with fresh, home made croutons. You can simply toss couple of slices of bread into the toaster, spread some butter on top and cut it in pieces. You can broil the bread for couple of minutes, spread some butter and cut it up in cubes. OR you can cut the bread in small cubes and brown them with butter on the skillet. You can substitute the butter to canola oil or any other oil of your choice.
1 cup spared cauliflowers should be used as a garnish. Place the cauliflower in a small pan with salt added water. Cook it for about 10 minutes. Drain the water and let it cook until the soup is ready.
Optional garnishing: Place the desired amount of soup in the bowl, put some whipped cream, drop the tiny chunks of cauliflower on top of the whipped cream, add some home made croutons, sprinkle a little black pepper and add a little cilantro.
Voila & Bon Appetit!