Garden to Kitchen: Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup
Cauliflower is a cool season crop, so you can plant & harvest it in both the spring and fall. I grew it this spring, and although we got a couple small heads, the harvest was far from bountiful. I opted not to plant it again this fall, so the cauliflower in this recipe came from our local market. (I chose organic, as cauliflower is generally considered one of the dirtier veggies). Whether you’re growing it yourself or getting it from a local farmer or market, now is the season to bring it into your kitchen and enjoy it.
I made this recipe last night, and served it alongside a delicious caramelized onion tart — a great meal for a cold night. Many folks are afraid to try cauliflower, but if you find the right recipe, it can be tasty for even the toughest critics. This recipe got four and a half (out of six) thumbs up around our table, so I’m chalking it up as a win. It’s not our biggest recipe winner, but if you’re looking for ways to prepare cauliflower, I’d definitly add this to your list. Credit goes to trustySouthern Living for this recipe (thanks, Mom, for the eternal subscription!). Buen provecho.*
Simple, clean ingredients make for a simple, healthy meal.
Break up the cauliflower head, pop it onto a baking sheet with garlic cloves and olive oil, and roast it for about half an hour — until it’s golden brown.
Transfer the veggies to a pot, add some broth, simmer a bit, then give it a blend. I used an immersion blender; a hand blender or food processor work just as well.
Once it’s relatively smooth, add a bit of milk and parmesan, and give it a stir until the cheese is melted.
White food generally doesn’t look too appetizing on its own, so a little garnish goes a long way (and adds a kick of flavor, too). I’m using pomegranates, which are in peak season in fall, and fresh thyme, which grows in my garden year-round.
And voila, roasted cauliflower and garlic soup.
Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup
Parmesan or other hard cheese
Salt & Pepper
Pomegranates & Fresh Thyme
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Break apart the cauliflower into small pieces and put it onto a baking sheet with whole garlic cloves. Drizzle the produce with olive oil and give it a good toss with your hands until it’s well-covered. Roast for 30 minutes or until it’s golden brown, tossing half way through the cooking. Transfer the cauliflower and garlic to a large pot, add the broth, and simmer it over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender (or food processor) until it’s smooth, and add the milk & cheese. Stir over low heat until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy. Add salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with pomegranates and thyme. Eat. Love.
* Buen Provecho: This is a beautiful saying we learned in Ecuador when we were adopting our son. There’s not a good literal translation from Spanish to English, because the loose translation — “Enjoy your meal” — doesn’t capture the full essence of the Spanish meaning. The verb “aprovechar” means to make the most of, or to receive the full benefit of something. Thus, when we say, “buen provecho,” it is offering our hope that the eater will receive the full benefits and advantages of the food we’ve prepared. And that’s my wish for my friends and family when I cook for them — that they will receive all the goodness the food offers.
** You’ll see that I often don’t designate specific quantities and measurements in my recipes. I do this because you know better than I do how much food your family needs and what your tastes are. Cooking isn’t an exact science, anyway — it’s more of an art. (Baking is another story — it actually is science — so I include measurements for my baking recipes.) So use whatever quantity you’d like, make changes to suit your tastes, and substitute ingredients to reflect what’s fresh in the garden and what’s available in your kitchen.