I previously posted “semi-homemade” tomato soup on behalf of my daughter’s love for creamy soup and lack of time in her busy school, sorority and work life. Or is it really ranked; social, sorority, school, work?? Are you reading this Gina?? p.s. love you lots!
The other day, Randy, aka Forever Young Avocado Pie, brought me a copy of Cuisine at Home, October 2010 issue, and a fabulous, gorgeous table top Italian book! More on that one in another post! Cuisine at Home had a few recipes for creamy soups pretty much how I have made mine in the past. Having a beautiful head of cauliflower on hand and freshly made chicken stock, creamy Cauliflower Soup became the entre for dinner!
The method can be used for other veggies; carrot, broccoli, potato, butternut squash and tweaked by the seasonings used to complement the particular veggie. On hot summer days, a bowl of chilled creamy soup is perfect!
2 tablespoons chopped pancetta
1/4 medium onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
6 – 7 cups cauliflower florets coarsely chopped (about 1 large head)
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk (or use 1/4 cup heavy cream and increase chicken stock by 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 oz gorgonzola crumbled (optional)
In large saucepan saute pancetta over medium heat until crisp. Remove pancetta and reserve. Pour off all be 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan and return to medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned. Add garlic and very briefly stir to soften. Add cauliflower, salt, cayenne pepper and chicken stock. Bring to boil, then reduce and simmer partial covered until cauliflower pieces are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender in the pot.
Return soup to the pot and stir in the cream and chopped fresh parsley and thyme to combine well. Do not allow to boil. If serving hot, ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled pancetta and gorgonzola. For a cold soup, cool the soup and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours. Taste soup for seasonings as chilled soup may need extra to intensify the flavor.
Note: For a richer, thicker soup, a diced potato can be added with the cauliflower and pureed all together.