It has quickly gone from (grasping onto) Indian Summer (in the sun) to Hey, it’s Winter! weather here in the Northeast. So, soup it is!
In trying to buy local at the farmer’s market, there are a lot of root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions and turnips and giant, I mean giant heads of cauliflower. I joked that the one I brought home last week was the size (and weight) of a human head. See, I’m not entirely off…
Anywho, I made roasted cauliflower recently to great avail and figured it might just be the thing to jazz up my soup. Along with the most beautiful carrots in shades of pink, tangerine and yellow, this soup quickly turned into something quite pretty.
1 head of cauliflower
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
6-8 C vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and spread out on a baking sheet or dish. Drizzle with olive oil and add the chopped garlic. Toss. Place in the oven and check about half way through, about 20 minutes, and toss again.
While the cauliflower is roasting, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients for the soup. Prepare the stock. If using homemade, begin to warm it up in a separate pot. If using vegetable cubes, boil the water first and add once boiling. (Note: Be mindful of the sodium content. Try to find low or no sodium cubes/stock to allow you to monitor the salt!) Cover and set aside.
You will need a large pot for the soup. Set it to medium heat and add the olive oil and onions. Let them cook down about five minutes, then add the carrots and let cook until mostly tender. Season with salt and pepper. Once the stock is ready, add it to the main pot and turn off the heat. Add the roasted cauliflower, setting aside a few pieces for garnish. (Note: I like to let the soup cool a bit before adding to the food processor. If using an immersion blender, you can start right away.)
In batches, start adding the soup to the food processor. (Note: Use the pot reserved for the stock to add the newly puréed soup, batch by batch.) This should take about four batches. It is entirely to your preference how smooth the soup should be but it’s nice to see the colors of the carrots shine through the golden color of the roasted cauliflower. Once all the soup is puréed to your liking, add it back to the original pot to warm and taste. This is your opportunity to flavor this big pot of soup, so don’t be bashful about adding salt and pepper here. And if you’ve got some thick bread around, make a few croutons or grilled toasts to dip into the soup.
Talk about hearty. This is such a flavorful and filling soup that it will surely be a big lunch and even an easy dinner option. Serve in a big bowl with croutons, a few reserved pieces of the cauliflower and a grind of fresh pepper. Now that will keep you warm! Enjoy!