If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from this whole house-move, it’s that I am in dire need of a paper shredder.
The amount of documents, scraps, and Bed & Bath coupons that I have accumulated over the years is just ridiculous. The cats have somehow claimed these piles (why do they do that?) and if anyone were to ever see this mess, one of those reality shows would probably bust down my door. I can just see it now, The Clever Carrot: Secret Hoarders of the Blogsphere.
And, I think creatures might live in there.
In honor of simplicity, today’s recipe is an easy cauliflower soup. I saw this on America’s Test Kitchen and they did something really cool with their preparation; they cooked the cauliflower in batches. Why bother? Can’t you just throw it all in at once and be done with it? Apparently, this adds depth of flavor. First, you cook 3/4’s of the cauliflower for about 30 minutes to develop a deep, nutty sweetness. If you’ve ever had roasted cauliflower before, you already know how yummy and sweet they get. Then, the remaining cauliflower goes in for only 15 minutes, which lends a ‘bright & grassy’ note according to the chef.
The big cauliflower stem, sliced thin, is also used to add creaminess to the soup.
I also add toasted panko breadcrumbs and pretty purple chive flowers from the garden.
As I gaze up at these photos, it will never cease to amaze me how simple dishes can seem so baffling. Really? Just cauliflower and water? Cooking in batches? What? I’ve learned that it takes some serious constraint to do simple food, because overdone recipes tend to be more ‘impressive’. But to me, less is more. Always.
So now if you’ll excuse me, I have some cats to displace and a mountain of junk to go shred…
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 leek, white + light green part only
- 1 small onion
- 1 small cauliflower
- salt + pepper
- ½ c. panko breadcrumbs
- fresh chives
- In a small saute pan, gently toast the breadcrumbs with a little olive oil until golden. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
- In a large, heavy bottom pot warm the butter and olive oil over moderate heat.
- Remove the large stem from the cauliflower, and thinly slice into rounds. Cut the rest into florets and toss together to combine.
- Thinly slice the leek and onion, and add to the pot. Saute for about 3-5 minutes or until soft.
- Add ¾'s of the cauliflower, reserving some to add towards the end of cooking. Season with salt + pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add enough water to cover (about 4 cups) and place the lid on the pot. Bring to a gentle boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Add the reserved cauliflower and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until tender.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (or use an immersion blender). Add more water if it's too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and snip fresh chives over the top. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
- Serve warm.