Saturday, December 22, 2007

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Crisps

Sounds Strange, But It's Really Good!

This was the first time I have ever even tried cauliflower soup. And I am pleased to say I like it. I chose two recipes to work from, one from Rachel Ray and the other from Dave Liberman.
I liked certain things from each recipe, so I decided to combine the two.

I used the recipe for the Parmesan Crisps from Dave Liberman and was disappointed. He suggested using foil, but the crisps just stuck to the foil. When I tried to release them from the foil they turned into toasted Parmesan crispies instead. It was still tasty, but I really wanted a crisp that I could place into the bowl for a better presentation. I fixed this problem in the recipe below by recommending the use of parchment paper. Let me know how it works out if you try it.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Crisps

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1 large head cauliflower
1 rib celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium shallots or 1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons wondra flour, or all-purpose flour
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk, or half-and-half or whole milk
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Coarse sea salt and coarse black pepper

Parmesan Crisps:
1 cup shredded Parmesan

Remove and discard the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower, coarsely chop cauliflower, and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the shallot, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and thyme and stir. Season again with salt.

Push the vegetables to the side of the pot. Melt the tablespoon of margarine or butter on empty side of pot and add flour to it. Cook for 1 minute, stirring the flour in the margarine/butter. Mix in chicken broth and milk. Bring up to a simmer and cook
until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree soup using an emersion blender, food processor or blender and return to pot.
Add the Parmesan and stir until smooth. Check seasoning and add salt and black pepper if needed. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, make the Parmesan crisps:
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread the shredded cheese over the parchment in 1 even thin layer. Bake about 10 minutes until golden brown and crisps. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Break sheet of crisp cheese into large pieces and garnish each soup bowl with a couple of pieces.


Emily said...

I guess I'm strange because I didn't think it sounded strange.
I have a head of cauliflower in the fridge, right now, so I might give this a go, tomorrow. I love soups, lately. Chicken tortilla is my favorite.

I wonder how a silpat would work with the crisps?

Annie said...

Chicken tortilla soup. That sounds yummy. The silpat would probably work great.

Emily said...

Merry Christmas to you, Annie!

Jen said...


Sara said...

I love cauliflower soup, and this one sounds lovely. Hope you're enjoying the holidays, Happy New Years!

Crystal said...

I'm always wondering what to do with my leftover cauliflower..I'm sure I would love this.