How to make a killer cauliflower soup (with bacon) // Eat

Roasted Cauliflower Soup
On the hook for dinner? Stun your guests with a soup that stars the new “it” vegetable

By Sara Chan

On Wednesday September 24th, 2014

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Word on the street is that cauliflower is the new black. So for those of you who still happen to think kale is the new vegetable hotness, get with the program.

Ridiculous food trends aside, mild-mannered cauliflower deserves more love than it gets. I’m not talking raw cauliflower, just sitting there left alone on the veggie platter, waiting to suck. As with a lot of things, adding heat can make magic from vegetable sadness. From livening up mealy winter tomatoes to crisping up stale greens, the act of roasting can transform many a mediocre food, and cauliflower is no exception. Toss it in some olive oil, salt and pepper and whack that business in the oven for 15 minutes and you’ve got a different ingredient altogether: tender, sweet florets with crispy golden brown edges. You could stop right there, eat it off the roasting pan, and be happy. Or, take it one step further and turn that roasted cauliflower into an easy but refined soup.

The beauty of this soup is its simplicity. You’ve already got great flavour from the cauliflower, so you need add little else to highlight the goodness you’ve just created — just a hit of onion and celery, a bit of stock, and a touch of cream. For those of you who want to dress this up a bit, add the bacon and walnuts, but trust me: this soup is just as good unadorned. Enjoy it as a light meal on its own or serve it at a potluck to impress your pals — and feel superior when they bring over a kale salad.


Roasted cauliflower soup with bacon and walnuts

Serves four

  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 l (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk (or stock, for dairy-free)
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) heavy cream*
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled (optional)
  • Handful chopped, toasted walnuts (optional)

 

  1. Cauliflower Soup RecipePreheat oven to 220 C (425 F). Toss cauliflower in a bowl with 3 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix to coat thoroughly.
  2. Roast cauliflower on a foil-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, until edges caramelize.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan on medium. Add onion and celery and cook gently until softened, 7–8 minutes.
  4. Add stock, milk and cauliflower and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes.
  5. Purée soup with a blender or food processor and return to pot on low heat. Stir in cream. Add more milk or stock to thin, if desired.
  6. Garnish bowls with bacon, walnuts and parsley.

 


Veggie Tales

First time on the cutting board? Try these quick tips for handling produce like a pro:Veggie Tales

Go for Italian parsley. It’s got more flavour than its French counterpart. If it wilts, clip the stem, place in a cup of cold water, and cover with a plastic bag.

Slice cauliflower in half, then use the tip of your knife to cut off each floret from the stem. Wash after cutting, to get the dirt out of all the little crevices.

Always sauté onions on low heat — cook them too hot and they’ll taste bitter. To keep from crying, chill them before you slice.


Read more: How to make chicken stock like a grownup


Illustration by Jeannie PhanIcons by Isabel Foo


This story appears in our 2014 national Student Issue