Brrrrr! Extraordinary winter (for this area) continues here at Glover Gardens. We’re breaking out the soups to warm up from the inside out. I’ve had a hankering to make an old classic from my parents’ cookbook, Cauliflower Soup.
I have great memories of making Cauliflower Soup with my Mom, of developing the recipe together, in fact, but when I looked back at the cookbook she created for my Dad’s real estate company years ago, that version was … well … unenlightened. Literally. It had twice as much cream and half the chicken stock, plus extra butter. As an adult, I’ve been making a lighter version, although not lately, because the Grill-Meister is NOT A FAN of cooked cauliflower. He proclaims that he hates the cooked version of most vegetables, but I’ve been working on him for the decade we’ve been married and we’re starting to see that it is OVERCOOKED vegetables that he hates.
I had all the ingredients for Cauliflower Soup when Winter Storm Inga dropped in on us this week, so I took on the Grill-Meister’s cauliflower contempt as a challenge. This warming soup comes together quickly, so on Sunday afternoon I whipped it up and took him a small portion as a late afternoon snack / taste test (I was afraid to plan on it for dinner in case it got two thumbs down).
He liked it! He told me to be sure and mention that he was a cauliflower hater so you’d understand the significance of his appreciation. The Grill-Meister’s biggest compliment (in his opinion) was: “It doesn’t even taste like cauliflower!” We had cups of this creamy goodness for dinner the next night with a simple green salad, and I’m pretty sure he had two servings.
So, now that I have the Grill-Meister’s Seal of Approval, I’m sharing this recipe with you. Cauliflower Soup is easy and quick, warm and comforting, and yet surprisingly elegant. You can serve it in shot glasses as a fun party appetizer, as a first course for a fancy meal, or paired with a salad and crusty bread for a quick weeknight supper. It can be produced as a vegetarian soup with the substitution of vegetable broth for the chicken stock, and vegan if you do that and also use coconut or almond milk instead of the cream / half ‘n’ half.
Cauliflower Soup (serves 6-8)
- 1 head of cauliflower, washed and separated into florets
- 1 bunch of green onions (about 8), chopped into 1-inch lengths
- 1 shallot, diced
- 3-4 cups of chicken stock, preferably homemade (enough to cover the cauliflower
- and onions in the saucepan but not more)
- 1 cup of heavy cream (substitute half ‘n’ half for part or all of the cream for a lighter version)
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1/2 – 1 tsp. salt
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated, if possible
- Optional garnishes (you can mix and match)
- sour cream (dollop)
- pesto (swirl)
- green onions, thinly sliced
- chopped parsley
- toasted nuts, chopped
- more nutmeg
Combine the cauliflower, shallot, green onions and chicken stock in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a good simmer for 10 minutes or more, until cauliflower is soft. Remove from the stove, transfer to a blender and purée. You can also use an immersion blender. Be very, very careful with the hot mixture and make sure the lid to your blender is on tight. The purée should be as smooth as possible.
Place the purée back in the saucepan over medium heat and stir in the cream or half ‘n’ half. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to medium low, cooking at a gently simmer until thickened as desired, for 5 minutes or more. While it is simmering, add the minimum amounts of salt, white pepper and nutmeg, then taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Serve hot, garnished (see options above). My minimum garnishes for this lovely and comforting soup are a generous dollop of sour cream, some green onions for crunch, and a dusting of nutmeg.
- Read more about the old cookbook, Great Tastes from the Texas Coast, here
- And here’s a story and the recipe for Mema rolls: We Call Them “Mema Rolls,” She Called Them “Refrigerator Rolls” – Call My Grandmother’s Delicious Yeast Rolls Anything You Want, but Don’t Call Me Late for Dinner if You’re Serving Them
Copyright 2018, Glover Gardens