Monday, May 21, 2012

Cream of Cauliflower Soup (and it's good cold, too!)

When spring arrives, I get giddy about the idea of going to the farmer's market and buying fresh vegetables. But after a while, reality sinks in. While there are plenty of leafy green things at the farmer's market, the vegetables I'm most excited about won't be making an appearance for quite some time.

The good news, though, is that when I go to the grocery store, the home country of the vegetables had moved north. Instead of seeing vegetables from Central America, many more are from California. And most of them look fresher and much more appealing.

Spring is also a time when the weather is conducive to both warm-weather foods and cool-weather foods. It's not too chilly to enjoy ice cream or a refreshing salad, and it's not too hot for soup.

When I found this recipe for cauliflower soup, I knew it would be perfect for spring, when the weather is shifting from warm to cool to back again. While this soup would normally be served hot, it’s an ideal soup to serve chilled like vichyssoise.

Cauliflower Soup
From Hazan Family Favorites by Giuliano Hazan
Used with permission; all rights reserved

1 cauliflower
8 ounces boiling potatoes (such as Yukon Gold)
3 cups whole milk
Freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 springs flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 tablespoon butter

Fill a pot large enough to accommodate the cauliflower with water and place over high heat.

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the root. When the water is boiling, add the cauliflower and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

While the cauliflower is cooking, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/4-inch slices.

When the cauliflower is tender, remove it from the pot an cut the florets away from the root. Discard the water the cauliflower cooked in and put the potatoes, cauliflower florets, and milk in the same pot. Season generously with salt and pepper, cover the pot, and place over medium-high heat.

When the milk begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot during the first few minutes to make sure the milk doesn't boil over; reduce the heat to the lowest setting if necessary.

While the soup is cooking, chop enough parsley leaves to measure about 1 tablespoon.

When the potatoes are done, remove from the heat and pass the soup through a food mill. Add the parsley. Cut the butter into small pieces so it melts more easily, and add to the soup. Stir well and serve at once.

I received this book from the publisher for review purposes.

Several other Virtual Potluck members are also cooking from this book - check here for the roundup!