Creamy Cauliflower-Roasted Garlic Soup
The groundhog, thankfully, has told us that spring is right around the corner. Until then, I’ve been making soups to get me through the cold spells of the last days of winter. This is an elegant, simple soup with some very festive garnishes. This was the first course of the Friday Night Dinner dinner that I made with the culinary students at the Natural Gourmet last week. The roasted garlic adds a depth and a complexity to the lusciousness of the pureed cauliflower. Any extra tortilla strips make for VERY good snacking.
Cauliflower Garlic Soup with Chile-Dusted Tortilla Strips and Cilantro Oil
Makes 2 quarts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion (about 2 cups small dice)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 whole bulb of garlic, roasted and removed from skin
2 small heads of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
7 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1. Heat a 4 quart soup pot and add oil. Add the onion and saute until soft but still completely white, with no browning. Add cumin and saute for two minutes until fragrant.
2. Add the broth and cauliflower and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes and add garlic. Simmer 10 minutes more, or until cauliflower is soft. Let cool for a half hour.
3. Puree soup in batches and add to clean pot. Add vinegar and sea salt to taste.
CHILE-DUSTED TORTILLA STRIPS
10- 5”flour tortillas cut into strips ¼ inch wide and 2.5 inches long
¼ cup fine sea salt
2 tablespoons ancho chile power
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder (or 1 teaspoon cayenne)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika powder
2 cups canola or coconut oil
1. Mix together the salt and all the spices and set aside.
2. Heat the oil to lightly bubbling in a deep skillet or dutch oven. Fry tortilla strips in batches, turning with a spider half way to make sure they are evenly fried. Remove strips from oil carefully with a spider and set on a paper towel-lined pan. Sprinkle immediately with the seasoning mix and toss to coat evenly.
3. Continue in batches until all are fried and coated.
4. Allow to cool completely and store in a sealed container.
Makes about ¾ cup
1 ½ cups canola oil
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
12 fresh spinach leaves
½ teaspoon salt
1. Combine the oil, spinach, cilantro, and salt in a blender and blend for 5 minutes.
2. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, making sure not to press on the solids or the oil will get cloudy.
3. Store up to two days.