Weekend Soup: Simple and Silky Cauliflower Soup
This soup is a revelation. It’s utterly simple — only 5 ingredients (6 if you count salt) — and it’s silky, creamy, and pristinely white. Oh, and delicious!
Cauliflower is one of those ultra-nutritious cruciferous vegetables, in the brassica family with broccoli, kale and cabbage. One cup of it has most of your daily allowance of vitamin C, but it also has significant levels of folate, fiber, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. When pureed, it’s super smooth, silky and creamy – no need for any cream!
The soup alone is really tasty, but another reason I enjoy it is purely an aesthetic one: the creamy white surface is a blank canvas for whatever kind of garnish you want to use. I like a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, some minced chives, and some freshly ground black pepper. Isn’t it wonderful when your food tastes delicious and is beautiful to look at?
It would be equally beautiful made with one of the colored varieties of cauliflower…can you imagine a bowl of this made with the chartreuse or the purple heads? Stunning!
Simple and Silky Cauliflower Soup
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets (about 8-10 cups)
4-6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
olive oil, chives (or thinly sliced scallion greens), and freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy stockpot. Add the chopped onions and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onion softens (try not to let it brown), about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and the stock; use enough liquid so that the florets are just barely submerged. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 25 minutes.
Puree with an immersion blender until smooth (or, transfer to a blender or food processor and puree it that way.) Season and add more salt to taste — I end up adding at least 1 tsp more, but my stock has no salt in it.
Serve the bowls of soup garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of chives (or sliced scallion greens), and some freshly ground black pepper.
Makes about 6-8 servings.