Happy 2019!!! Did you have a good holiday? One of my sisters hosted a Harry Potter Mystery party to celebrate NYE and she went all out! It was truly hysterical and loads of fun— Take a look at some truly memorable embarrassing family photos—
Now that we’ve gotten the festivities out of the way, let’s talk about the new year a bit. Do you do resolutions? I kind of always feel obligated to say I do, but honestly, I really don’t. I mean, of course, who doesn’t want to drop a few pounds or exercise more, but that kind of enforced start-of-the-year regimen just doesn’t really work for me. Still, in the interests of supporting any of you who have decided to embark upon that diet and because I’m always looking for ways to keep us healthier around here, I’m going to try and keep things light and non-dessert like for the next few weeks…you know, to jump start us all. But no matter what, it’s all going to be yummy! And that’s where this luscious cauliflower soup comes in.
I’m calling this creamy cauliflower soup, but the fact is that there is not a lick of cream or milk or half-and-half to be had anywhere in this recipe, which means that you can slurp it up guilt-free!!
And it’s vegetarian!
And easy to make, with an optional crispy cauliflower garnish in browned butter that is lovely but not absolutely necessary and if you omit it, the soup is even easier to make and healthier for you, so no matter what you do, it’s a win, win!
The secret to the creaminess comes from a thorough puréeing at the end of the cooking process, which, if you own an immersion blender is a snap and if you don’t, please, please, I beg you—and I know I’ve said it on these pages lots of times before and I don’t mean to nag, but go out and get yourself one today! It’s not expensive and one of those kitchen gadgets that you will actually use! In fact, let that be your new year’s resolution—I promise it’ll lead to a lot more healthy creations, like this soup!
Velvety smooth—with tons of flavor, with or without the garnish. It’s comfort food you can eat with a clear conscience! And with that, we’re off to a great start!
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Browned Butter Florets
Makes about 6 servings
You will need an immersion blender or a regular blender or food processor for this.
Prep Time: About 1 hour
1 large head of cauliflower
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 large leek, ends trimmed, cut down the middle lengthwise, sliced into half moons and rinsed well
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning
4 1/2 -5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1. Discard the leaves of the cauliflower and use a sharp knife to cut around the core to remove it. Slice the core thinly and set aside. Cut about 1 cup of florets into small pieces and set them aside. Slice the rest of the cauliflower into 1/2-inch thick slices and set it aside.
2. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter into a large, deep pot and heat over medium-low heat to melt. Add the leeks, onion and salt and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring often, until leek and onion are softened but not brown. Add 4 1/2 cups water, the sliced core and half of the sliced cauliflower. Turn the heat higher and bring to a gentle simmer. Let cook for 14 minutes. Then add the rest of the cauliflower and continue to simmer the soup for another 15-20 minutes, until the cauliflower is very tender.
3. While the soup is cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cup of florets and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring often, until butter and cauliflower are browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the florets to a small bowl, but don’t throw away the browned butter. Toss the florets with the sherry vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. When soup is cooked, use an immersion blender to purée soup until totally smooth, adding more water in the process if it seems too think. You can also do this in batches in a blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Top with the browned florets and a drizzle of the butter and serve immediately.
5. The garnish is delicious but the soup is terrific without it too—less calories and less work. If you don’t make the garnish just cut all of the cauliflower into slices, instead of reserving one cup of small florets. You won’t need the sherry vinegar or the extra butter this way either.
Note: Recipe adapted from The New Essentials Cookbook from America’s Home Kitchen. I significantly cut the butter here, instead sautéing the cauliflower in 2 tablespoons of butter as opposed to 5. There was still plenty to drizzle across the top.