Thursday 19 April 2012

Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Yesterday I told you about the mushrooms I bought from the discount produce rack.  Today I’m going to tell you what I did with the cauliflower I bought there the same day. 

That cauliflower was huge!  It had some brown spots on it but it was really in pretty good shape.

I trimmed the brown spots off of the cauliflower, broke it down into large florets, then trimmed the leaf ends off the stem and cut it into sections too.  I gave the florets and stem pieces a good wash in the sink and then drained them in a colander. 

While the cauliflower pieces were draining, I washed the leaves and trimmed away the browned edges.  I put the leaves in my stock bucket; a 2 kg. peanut butter jar in which I save vegetable trimmings for use in whatever stock I have on the go.

We have lots of potatoes and onions on hand right now so I decided to make a cauliflower and potato soup.  We enjoy its pleasant, mild flavour and smooth, comforting texture.

To make Cauliflower and Potato Soup, you’ll need:

  • 8 cups of cauliflower pieces
  • 6 cups of peeled potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 cups of diced onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups of chicken stock (I use my homemade chicken stock.  It’s made with quite a lot of garlic so I didn’t add any more to the soup.  If you’re using store bought stock, I recommend adding about half a head of roasted garlic.) 

Put the vegetables, bay leaves, and garlic if you’re adding it, into a large pot and add the stock.  Bring the stock to a boil and cook the vegetables until they’re fork tender but still have some texture to them. 

Remove the bay leaves and discard them.  Lift out about a third of the cauliflower florets and cut them into bite sized pieces.

Working in small batches, process the remaining vegetables and stock into a smooth purée.  Taste the purée and adjust the seasoning.

Add the reserved cauliflower pieces back into the purée and heat it over low heat until it nears a boil.  Serve it immediately.

We like to garnish our soup with grated cheese.  It melts as you stir it in, adding another layer of flavour, and it’s fun to watch it melt.   If you prefer not to garnish with cheese, a little chopped parsley or chives and some freshly ground nutmeg or pepper make a very nice addition.

Leftover cauliflower and potato soup reheats well.  It doesn't freeze well but it can be used, either with or without added cheese, as a sauce for pasta, in a casserole, or in a savoury pie.

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