Sunday, March 24, 2013

Silky Cauliflower Soup With Parmesan Crisps

I thought this soup was wonderful!  But the amazing thing, my son who hates cauliflower, who used up one of his two veto ingredients on cauliflower, loved it too.  He rated it a 4!  Lets just let that sink in; the boy who gags when he puts cauliflower in his mouth, loved cauliflower soup.  Wow!  It was easy and fast to make, with most of the time spent largely inactive cooking time.  While it uses chicken stock, it could easily be made vegetarian with veggie broth.  With the chicken broth, does it count as meatless for meatless Monday?  I did have a bit of a problem with the Parmesan crisp.  It didn't break off the sheet of aluminium in large peices, it crumbled off.  Next time I won't spread it so thinly. 

  
Silky Cauliflower Soup With Parmesan Crisps

1 head cauliflower
2 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 Clove garlic minced
1 Qt low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 Cup finely grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crisps:
1 Cup shredded Parmesan
Chopped chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower, coarsely chop,
and reserve. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over
medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not
browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a
boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower
is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and,
using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small
batches in a blender* and return it to the pot. Add the Parmesan and
stir until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Keep
warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, make the Parmesan crisps:
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the shredded cheese over
the foil in 1 even thin layer. Bake about 10 minutes until golden brown
and crisps. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Break sheet of
crisp cheese into large pieces and garnish each soup bowl with a couple
shards and a pinch of fresh chives.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to
cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food
processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release
one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat
explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times
then process on high speed until smooth.

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