Creamy Cauliflower Soup

By on February 10, 2020

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

When a friend asked me over to share soup, I jumped at the chance.  But that was before I had been presented with the watery, thin tasteless concoction she called soup.  I only ate a few bites then took the bowl to the kitchen and put in on the floor for the dog.

What a fool I was to think I could pawn that awful mess onto  her discriminating dog who took one whiff and turned away.

But the whole experience reminded me of why love making soup and how, for me, it is almost a religious rite.

Most soups are made of the simplest ingredients that, through the magic of technique, are transformed into culinary masterpieces.

Most soups begin with butter or fat in the bottom of a soup pot.  Then vegetables are added, one at a time, and lovingly cooked down, yielding up their caramelized goodness. Thus, the soup I made today, a simple Cauliflower soup only needs cauliflower, onion, celery, and carrot to start the process.  Never add plain water to soup unless you want some awful blend like the one I got at my friend’s.  Use broth, real stock, milk, cream.  In other words,  liquids with some culinary heft.

But the most important piece of advice I can give to any soupmaker wannabes.  Just learn to take your time.  Let the onions cook down in the pot of butter, until they are golden, then add the celery and repeat.  Next the carrots.  Stir and sniff and enjoy the process. Take in deep breaths of the concoction as it cooks.

When you begin to feel weak in the knees you know you are getting somewhere.

Only now should you begin to add the liquids.  Make a roux in a smaller pan, using butter and flour, then add broth to make a lovely flavorful mix. Stir into the caramelized vegetables and cook at least 20 minutes.  Finish with milk, cream and a jot of sour cream.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and prepare to wow your guests.  That, my friends, is how you make soup.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup for 10

¼ pound butter, divided

1 large yellow or red onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot, skinned and finely chopped

1 large rib celery,  finely chopped

1 whole cauliflower, chopped (use the green parts as well as the white)

Make a roux:

6 tablespoons of flour

2 quarts chicken stock

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup sour cream

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Shot of Tabasco

1/2 cup  fresh chopped parsley

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in the bottom of a large stock pot over medium heat.

Add onions and cook and stir until the onion is reduced and golden.  Then add celery and repeat.  Finally add carrot and repeat.  Now pour in all cauliflower and cook and stir until all is mixed, browned, and cooked down.

Take your time.  This should take at least 20 minutes.

While this is cooking, make a roux by putting 4 tablespoons butter in the bottom of a heavy skillet then sprinkle over with flour.  Cook and stir until you have a smooth, deep brown, aromatic mixture.  Very slowly stir in milk and make a deeply brown roux.  No lumps please.  Keep on stirring.

Back in the soup pot,  add broth and bring to a boil. Now add the roux, and cream and sour cream.  Cook about 20 minutes,  stirring and tasting. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Now that my friends,  is soup.

About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”