Monday, November 1, 2010
Ree's Cauliflower Soup
Here's the deal...I cannot stand cooked cauliflower. I love it raw. But when cauliflower is cooked, it becomes a whole different animal. And it stinks. So no way, no how, am I cooking cauliflower in this house.
Okay having said that, I can now admit to a few deep dark secrets that I have kept hidden behind closed doors ...
First, I love to shop at Aldi's. If you hit it right you can get some really awesome produce at prices that will just have you dancing in the aisles. A few weeks ago I found the biggest, fattest head of cauliflower that I simply could not walk away from. I'm not even going to tell you what I paid for it because it was obscenely inexpensive (and I can't actually remember what is was because my memory has gone to hell). Yep, Aldi's is one of my guilty pleasures.
Second, I cooked it.
I know, I know! But honestly, on a technicality I didn't really cook it. I used it to make soup. And why I even did that, I cannot tell you. Except to say that I was reading www.thepioneerwoman.com and she made her mother's cauliflower soup sound so good that I craved it. And after all, I had that honkin' big head of cauliflower in my fridge. There's only so much raw cauliflower that a girl's husband will let her eat!
So I followed Ree's incredibly easy step-by-step instructions and made the soup. Then I swooned. Then Bob swooned. I gave some to Donald & Kathy and I think they swooned. Even if they didn't, let's pretend they did. They said they liked it ... a lot. So I'm thinkin' they swooned. (That's just how my mind works.)
I'm going to give you the original recipe and the link to Ree's blog page because her photographs are incredible. In fact, the above photograph is hers, not mine. Why mess with perfection? (Also, the fact is we ate ours before I could take a picture of it.) I did adjust mine to make it Weight Watcher friendly. I'm trying, I'm trying.
• 1 stick butter, divided
• ½ whole onion, finely diced
• 1 whole carrot finely diced
• 1 stalk celery, finely diced
• 1 whole (to 2 whole) cauliflower heads (roughly chopped)
• 2 Tablespoons fresh or dried parsley (chopped)
• 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth or stock
• 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1 cup half-and-half
• 2 teaspoons to 4 Teaspoons salt, to taste
• 1 cup (heaping) sour cream, room temperature
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown.
Add the carrots and celery and cook an additional couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine.
Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.
In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup half-and-half. Add mixture to the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.
Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add two to three ladles of hot soup into the tureen and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.
Serve immediately. Then, SWOON!