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Monday, March 3, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup

Although cauliflower is a plain cream white color (which is pretty boring) it just tickles me in a whole variety of ways.
Raw.  Just amazing.. want it even better raw? Dip it into some sardine dip.  OoooooOo.
Pan fried and tossed into pasta, it will add some texture to the otherwise noodley meal.
Don't have enough chicken in your curry?  Add some florets that will take up some volume and be a perfect palette for the curry.
Apparently, you can make pizza dough or couscous with it too, which I haven't tried.
But my favorite way of enjoying cauliflower is roasted, especially when I can get my hands on a nice fresh head.  This one was just begging me to take it home with me.
Haha.. reminds me of something....

This is your brain
This is your brain on drugs
Any questions?

Yes I have one... does that mean that taking drugs lets you grow a head of perfectly roasted garlic between your hemispheres?
If your drug is my kitchen, then yes it is absolutely possible.
Roasted cauliflower is really a show on its own.  It's a mix between texture (still has a bite, almost crunch, definitely not mushy, but tender all at once) and the way it releases its endless nutty flavor.
I almost ate it all just like that, but I held back so I could make this soup.
I should actually always buy cauliflower by 2.  One to make the meal it was originally intended for, and one to nibble on whenever I desire throughout the whole process.
This soup is rich and creamy without cream and serves about 4-5 as a side or appetizer.
To Roast:
1 head cauliflower, halved, and stem cut out
3 tbsp (approximately) olive oil
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp piment d'espelette
1 head garlic
To blend:
the above roasted ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
the white part of a leek, sliced and sautéed
some salt
lots of pepper
approximately 4 cups water
1 plain yogurt (optional)
Thinly sliced green part of leek
drizzle of chili oil
1.  Rub all the good stuff of the "to roast" ingredients over the cauliflower and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the head of garlic.  Roast in a 400°F 200°C oven for about 1 hour or until the head has a nice color to it.  Then break apart the florets (if you can do it without eating it all first) and squeeze out the cooked garlic from its sheath.
2.  Sautee the sliced leeks in a pot with the olive oil.  Cook until translucent, then add the roasted ingredients.
3.  Toss well while cooking, then add the water, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 8-10 minutes.
4.  Liquify the whole thing with an immersible blender (or vitamix for an extra velvety soup.. I do not own a vitamix)
5.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  It might need some salt, but you'll have that lovely roasted flavor in a velvety spoonful.  I stirred in some yogurt because I felt it was too thick and I didn't want to use water, but the taste was already magnificent.

Serve and eat happily while imagining gnawing on the roasted branches instead of eating a soup.
If I had changed my mind and decided to eat the branches as they were, I would have been imagining my soup.
It's a win win situation, because I now cannot wait to do this again and completely devoir the roasted head..mmMMm!
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