Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tri-Color Cream of Cauliflower Soup

I was at the grocery store one night and saw these three different colors of cauliflower.  They were so pretty that I immediately wanted to buy them, but what is a girl supposed to do with three heads of cauliflower?  Well, make soup... three batches of soup!

I am listing the ingredients as a single recipe, so you'll need to multiply this by three if to create the colorful look!
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 head cauliflower, chopped (reserve a few small pieces)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sharp white cheddar
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter.  Stir in onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add white wine to deglaze pan, then stir in carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes longer.  Stir in cauliflower and herbs, then add flour and mix until it has settled into the vegetables. 
Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

While the soup is cooking, take the small pieces of reserved cauliflower (all three colors if using!) and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Broil in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly tender and brown.  This will be used as a tasty garnish.

Once the vegetables are tender, puree the soup in batches in a blender, or in the pot using an immersion blender.  Return to low heat and stir in cream, spices, and cheese.  Heat until cheese melts and soup is smooth and creamy.  Season to taste, garnish and serve warm.

Tips:  If making all three colors of soup, you can do it all in one batch and cook the cauliflower separately, then add before pureeing.  To create the segmented colors, take a piece of parchment paper and double it.  Fold into two.  Pour soup between the folds and it will come together beatifully, in a unique pattern each time.  Garnish in the middle where the colors meet.  Enjoy!

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