Even though we’re experiencing warmer days due to the Foehn (a wind so dry that I’m able to hang laundry to dry in a few hours), it is still soup season. I’m not too keen on cauliflower, but inspired by an unbelievably smooth and silky cauliflower soup we had in Spain, here’s my take on it.
Cauliflower, leeks, vegetable broth, porcini mushrooms, pine nuts, hard gorgonzola – that’s it. The gorgonzola is diced into tiny cubes and dispersed throughout the soup, so that you get a surprise hit of flavor in nearly every spoonful.
For 2 servings you will need:
1/2 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), separated into florets
1/2 cup thinly sliced leek, white part only
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen porcini mushroom (or mushroom of choice)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/3 cup small-dice firm gorgonzola or sharp cheddar
heavy cream to finish (optional)
1, Saute leeks in a knob of butter over low heat until soft and fragrant.
2, Add cauliflower and broth; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover with a lid, lower heat, and gently cook until soft and liquid is reduced by half.
3. Remove cauliflower from heat. Puree mixture with an immersion blender.
4. To achieve a smooth consistency, press puree through a sieve over a bowl. Return sieved mixture to saucepot.
5. If the mixture is too watery, continue to cook the puree over low heat until liquid is reduced. Season to taste with salt. Set aside while you prepare the porcini garnish and pine nuts.
6. Saute mushrooms in butter until cooked through.
7. Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet, taking care to avoid burning.
When ready to serve, warm cauliflower puree over low heat and add a splash of heavy cream (about 2 tablespoons). Split half of the puree between 2 serving bowls. Scatter a few cubes of gorgonzola on top, then top with the remaining puree.
Garnish with sauted mushrooms and pine nuts. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
This last image is the inspiration: Cauliflower emulsion with shiitake. So silky and smooth. I know it had a lot more butter but oh what creaminess!