Our recent trip to Big Sur for Thanksgiving, where we ate soup for lunch and dinner, inspired me to simplify our dinners at home, and so I have been experimenting with soups. I love having a hot bowl of one-main-ingredient soup on hand, and then enhancing it with toasted bread crumbs, leftover grains, hot sauce or nuts. Sometimes we even throw some raw salad greens, thinly sliced cabbage, leftover braised greens or cooked veggies, or the stray chopped radish or cucumber on top and mix with the hot soup, a la pozole, one of my all time favorite foods EVER.
Normally I use homemade broth in my soups but I was curious to see the taste using only water and the main veggie. It turned out so pure and clean tasting that I may only rarely go back to using broth! I hope you enjoy this soup I’m bringing to Fiesta Friday #46, hosted by the soulful cooks Margie and Juju.
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 leek
- 1 onion
- 1 cauliflower
- 1 lemon
- salt + pepper
- 1 tbsp zaatar
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds
- fresh chives or parsley
- Preheat oven to 425.
- In a large, heavy bottom pot warm the butter and olive oil over moderate heat. Remove the large stem from the cauliflower, and thinly slice into rounds. Cut the rest into florets, and reserve 1 cup of florets. Toss the rest of the florets with salt, pepper and about 3 tbsp. olive oil. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes until beginning to brown darkly around the edges.
- Thinly slice the leek and onion, and add to the pot. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add cauliflower stems and reserved florets. Season with salt and pepper and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add enough water to cover (about 4 cups), cover, bring to a gentle boil, then simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Drain and toss with roasted florets.
- Puree in a blender or with a hand held immersion blender, in batches. Season to taste and add olive oil, salt and pepper if needed. Juice the lemon and stir into soup.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and add chopped chives, parsley and/or toasted almonds if you wish.
*If you’re feeling ambitious, rice some of the florets and ladle into bowl before soup, and top with a roasted floret or two.