Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blushing Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Sometimes I just want something soothing and comforting. Like a hug. It may be 60 some degrees outside and sunny, but I'm still fairly much on house arrest until we can get the swelling down. I did sneak out to Meijers over the weekend and filled my tiny little cart with an assortment of vegetables. I've discovered that husbands, although they have many spectacular qualities, cannot be trusted to grocery shopping by themselves. It's all nitrite laden meat and no veggies. blecch. well the 3 packs of bacon in the fridge is weirdly comforting. But otherwise blecch.

I am a veggie girl. I have been craving veggies. So even though I've had a lot of very good soup over the last 3 weeks, I thought of my Soup & Bread cookbook and the Blushing Cauliflower Soup recipe and loaded my cart full of cauliflower and red peppers.

This is some serious good soup. It's comforting. It's filling. It's fairly nutritious (the full cup of heavy cream keeps me from saying it's totally healthy). Cauliflowers are a cruciferous vegetable so it has cancer fighting properties. It's also super high in Vitamin C. The red bell peppers are high in both Vitamin C and Vitamin A and provide help against anti-oxidants and free radicals and may help protect against heart disease. It's not the easiest soup ever. It does take 2 pans. But overall I think it's worth it. I really liked the combination of flavors of the nuttiness of the cauliflower, the cooked red pepper and the crunch of the raw red pepper. Yummy.

Blushing Cream of Cauliflower Soup

1 large head cauliflower, broken into florets
cooking spray
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 rib celery finely diced
3 red peppers, stemmed, seeded, and diced
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
4 fist sized all purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Steam the cauliflower over boiling water until barely tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add the butter and oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until wilted about 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and saute 2 minutes more. Add 2 of the bell peppers and saute another 2 minutes. Scrape the sauteed vegetables into a soup pot.

Add the stock, wine, potatoes, tomato paste, basil, and thyme to the soup pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium low and simmer until the potato is done and the cauliflower is quite tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. Reheat, then stir in the remaining sauteed vegetables, the milk, the cream, and about three quarters of the remaining bell pepper. Season with the salt and pepper. Heat the soup through, being careful not to let it boil. Serve hot garnished with remaining red pepper.


Cakelaw said...

This soup looks lovely - the "blushing description is so apt. Get well soon Mary - sad to hear that you are house-bound and unwell!!

Pixie said...

This looks like a lovely hearty soup. Same as cakelaw said, Hope you get better very soon!

Deborah said...

I could seriously eat soup year round. And this one sounds like a real winner!

Anonymous said...

I think just the act of making soup is peaceful, calming and healthful. Perhaps the standing next to the stove not so much for the anti-swelling properties, but a good idea nevertheless in the "I must take care of myself" category.

Crescent Dragonwagon said...

Thank you so much for using this one from Dairy Hollow House S & B, Mary... I love that partricular recipe too. Have always been a big proponent of eating colorfully, for reasons of taste, aesthetics, health, and just all-around delight.

I too hope you're feeling better, and I too am a sunscreen fanatic with pre-age-18 regrets. But I did start sunscreen at about age 30... I'm 55 now and my skin looks notably younger than my age (not, alas, certain other parts of my body... but let's don't go there.) I always tell people, "Hey, if they made MOONscreen I'd wear that, too!"

Warmly (but protectedly),