Monday, December 16, 2013

Cauliflower soup

Back when I very first started cooking for myself, I was a vegetarian and was totally in love with creamy vegetable soups.  Most of the time all I did was steam the vegetables soft and then process them with some water or veggie broth and add milk.  It was bland, but I didn't know any different.

Then I learned about browning things in just a bit of fat.  What a revelation!  Even though most of my other vegetable soups got markedly better, I could never quite get the hang of making a really good Cauliflower Soup.  I didn't like browning the veggies...the soup would end up nut brown and too sulfurous.  So I finally just set my dream aside.

Until the September issue of Cook's Illustrated.  It seems that the trick with cauliflower is to cook it in two batches, one for 30 minutes and the other for 15.  The 15 minute batch has the cabbagey sulfurous taste, and the 30 minute batch is mellow, nutty, and sweet.  Too much longer and all taste is lost.  Who knew?  And don't bother to brown it either...just add it to (also unbrowned) leeks and onions along with the water.  Give it a whirl with an immersion blender at the end and skip the milk.

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