Poor old cauliflower. I always feel so bad for it just sitting there, pale and alone on the crudite platter. It’s lost in the midst of much sexier veggies like the radish and bell peppers. Why gorge on boring cauliflower when you can grab a grape tomato? I’ll admit, I used to never buy, eat or serve cauliflower for that reason. But this was this year I tried roasting it. Smeared with browned butter and a crunchy golden glow, cauliflower is back, my friends; and the hubby and I can’t get enough!
I adapted this recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s fabulous Around My French Table, using roasted cauliflower in place of boiled for that sweet caramelized flavor I love so dear. This soup is everything a great soup should be: creamy, dreamy, toasty and nourishing. Top it off with a whirl of toasted walnut oil and crushed walnuts and I’m officially adding cauliflower back to the grocery list. Enjoy!
Cauliflower, celery, onions, thyme, garlic and broth. That’s all you need!
Chop the cauliflower, toss in olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and then roast for about 30 minutes, turning halfway between. See those brown crust forming? Do not be alarmed! Those little burnt bits and what give your cauliflower that sweet caramelized flavor.
Roughly chop your celery and onion. It will all get blended again later, so no need for perfection.
Saute celery, onion and garlic in olive oil and butter until soft and glistening.
Add thyme leaves by pulling down the stem in the opposite direction they sprouted from. Add cauliflower and broth and simmer for about 20 minutes.
I still don’t have an immersion blender (sigh), so I carefully ladled the soup into the food processor and blended until smooth. Just make sure there are no chunks lurking beneath the surface. You want this soup whipped to perfection. Drizzle some toasted walnut oil and top with crushed walnuts. Croutons would also work well.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Makes 4-6 Servings
- 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed and cut into florets
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 5 cups chicken broth
- Toasted Walnut oil (optional)
- Toasted walnuts, crushed (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until sides are browned, about 30 minutes, turning cauliflower halfway between.
Heat butter and olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat until butter is melted. Add celery, onion and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in thyme leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken broth and cauliflower and bring to a simmer.
Simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is very soft when pierced with a fork. Use an immersion blender or food processor, blend until soup is creamy and smooth, working in batches if needed. Drizzle with optional walnut oil and crushed walnuts if using.
Adapted from Around My French Table