Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Every year we celebrate Thanksgiving as four families of close friends. The headcount fluctuates throughout the years as children move away and have families of their own. This year there will only be a few adults at the table. We won't need the special table that seats two dozen nor a children's table or high chairs.
We always start off sitting in the living room in front of a large fireplace with a blazing fire. It's the perfect place to sit quietly with friends and kick off the holiday season reflecting on gratitude.
At our Thanksgiving celebrations, one of my favorite appetizers is a small cup of soup served in our friend's handmade pottery mugs. Nestled up in front of the fire with a steaming cup of soup chases away any chill.
I recently made a pot of roasted cauliflower soup that is perfect for the occasion. For fun, I decided to use heads of purple cauliflower and purple potatoes. Dr. Seuss would have been happy with my creation. My husband, however, was a bit more skeptical - insisting that purple soup was only suited for children. After sampling my first attempt at purple cauliflower soup, he decided it was so delicious that he gobbled up the entire batch! Now I need to find more purple cauliflower for Thanksgiving.
You can make the soup using any color cauliflower - white, orange, or purple. For the prettiest result, choose potatoes that match the color of the cauliflower. I find that the purple cauliflower tastes a bit milder than the white ones with less "burp." To make the flavor richer, I first roast the cauliflower florets and cubed potatoes. The soup is similar in flavor to puréed potato leek soup. For a sophisticated touch, drizzle some basil oil on each serving. The green tang of the basil oil gives a nice counterpoint to the smooth earthiness of the soup. You can make this soup ahead of time and store in the fridge. The color will lighten as it cools but become deep purple again when reheated.
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SOUP
5 cups purple cauliflower florets (from one large purple cauliflower)
2 cups peeled and chopped purple potatoes
1 medium red onion, chopped
Olive or corn oil
Salt and pepper
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
48 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
Basil oil for serving
Minced chives, pepitos, pine nuts, sour cream or croutons for serving (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower and potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast the veggies for 30 minutes.
In a large soup pot, sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the roasted cauliflower and potatoes and stir in the broth.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth.
Serve with a little basil oil drizzled on top. You can also top with your choice of chopped chives, nuts, sour cream or croutons.