23.3.11

Soup


Can you believe I've kept my newest best friends stuffed away at the back of a kitchen cabinet all these years? Yes, I have discovered that my beastly-blender and little hand blender really are useful things after all.

We live in a tiny house with a tiny kitchen (i.e. insufficient cabinet space and no counter-top space to speak of) so finding a place for something like a blender, a cuisinart or a rice-cooker is really a challenge. I'd rather do without then have to deal with managing these large & heavy kitchen implements. To top it off, the thought of washing out a blender or cuisinart makes me want to curl up on the couch and go to sleep (yes, I really am that lazy, plus I'm afraid of the sharp blades.) So, all these years, I've been slicing, dicing, chopping and grating by hand. And if I ran across a nice looking recipe which required a puree, that recipe was automatically ruled out as just too difficult and complicated.

Well, all that changed 3 months ago when, on a whim, I decided to make cream of cauliflower soup. I have seen the light! I am in love with my blender and mad for cream-of-any-darn-thing soup!

So, just for you, I'm going to jot down my favorite soup recipe-du-jour (with a 2nd variation, just for fun...)

Cauliflower Soup (with Mushrooms)

In a large soup pot, saute 1 chopped onion & 2 chopped cloves of garlic in 1 TBL unsalted butter & 1TBL olive oil.

When onion & garlic are just starting to brown, add 5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock & approx. 2 lbs. chopped cauliflower. Bring to a boil then reduce heat & simmer approx. 15 minutes (until cauliflower is tender.) Using a blender (or hand blender) puree until smooth. Adjust salt & pepper to taste & simmer again briefly.

While the cauliflower is on for it's first simmer, saute 15-20 chopped mushrooms in a pan in 1 TBL unsalted butter & 1 TBL olive oil. When mushrooms are lightly browned, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

After cauliflower is pureed (and simmered again briefly) add sauteed mushrooms (and some fresh chopped parsley if you wish.) If you like a milder flavor and richer soup, stir in 1 TBL 1/2 & 1/2 cream to each bowl prior to serving.

* * *
VARIATION:
For a variation, add an extra cup of broth, a chopped carrot (or two) and a stick of celery (or two) to the onion saute. Then, just before you puree your cauliflower, add a cup or two of roasted, mashed pumpkin or squash. Season soup with some thyme & juice from half a lemon. Voila! Another lovely soup!

Do you have a favorite soup recipe you'd like to share?

Happy soup-day to you!

4 comments:

  1. We too have a tiny kitchen that is seriously lacking in storage space :)
    There is nothing quite like a winter warming bowl of soup on a frosty winter's day...thanks for sharing your recipes.
    xx

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  2. How fabulous that we are coming into 'Sunday soup' time of year....and cauliflower season too.

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  3. Cauliflower Carrot soup is my fave, add a little curry, or cumin and it makes a whole new flavor! My second fave is Zucchini Basil, the recipe I got from the LA Times food section a looong time ago.

    Zucchini Basil Soup

    2 pounds zucchini, trimmed and coarsely chopped
    3/4 cup chopped onion
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    1/3 cup packed basil leaves

    Cook onion and garlic in oil in a 3- to 4-quarts heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add 3 cups broth and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 15 minutes. Purée soup with basil in 2 batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids).
    Season soup with salt and pepper (the soup can take a lot of both, so don’t stop seasoning until it tastes just right). Serve in shallow bowls with parmesan cheese on top if desired.
    YUM!

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  4. Sounds yummy. I too put my hand blender to the test each and every winter.

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