As we approach the New Year, the same old mantra of healthy resolutions begin to run through my thoughts. I know that I'm not the only one. With our overly-indulgent holiday meals done and gone, and the bubbles of New Year's champagne just ahead of us, I thought I'd share one of my lighter recipes. This soup is absolutely delicious, and completely jam-packed with vegetables. It's smooth like a 'veloute', but without any flour or cream (yeah, I had to sneak in a teeny-tiny amount of butter, because a girl's got to live!)
This dish is creamy, warming, and just plain old yummy. Healthy cauliflower is blended with yukon gold potatoes, celery, onions, & garlic for a satisfying and healthy soup. Made with either vegetable broth or chicken broth, depending on what's available, and a finishing dab of butter and spice is all that's needed to take it up to the next level!Cauliflower & Potato Soup
makes a generous 10 portions
1 medium head cauliflower
1.5 pounds (or about 4 medium) yukon gold potatoes
1 large yellow onion
4 stalks + leaves celery
1 clove garlic, crushed
8-9 cups quality vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter + 3 tablespoons butter for finishing
fresh ground pepper
pinch smoked paprika
dash of cayenne pepper
Wash and dry the celery. Split down the middle and chop into roughly 1/8-1/4 inch pieces. Put aside in a large bowl. Dice the yellow onion into a similar size and add to the celery. Add the crushed garlic to the bowl.
Next, break down the cauliflower into small florets, wash, drain, and put aside. Peel the yukon gold potatoes and slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Reserve.
In a large pasta or stock pot, heat the 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, until the butter begins to foam. Add the celery, onions, garlic, a small pinch of salt, and stir it up a bit. Cook while stirring occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes, or until slightly soft. Be very careful not to brown!
Once softened, add the potato rounds and cauliflower to the pot. Give another quick stir. Next, add the stock and raise the heat, bringing the soup to a full boil. After reaching a boil, lower the heat to low, and cover. Allow the soup to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower and potatoes are soft.
Once cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Next, in several batches, blend the soup in a blender (or keep it in the pot and use a stick blender), until rich & smooth. Pour each blended batch into a large unused bowl.
Once smooth, return to the pot. Season with approx. 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of smoked paprika, and a dash of cayenne. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to finish the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
I like to serve this soup with a sprinkling of fresh chives and a side of toasted cheesy toasts, or, you can make toasted croutons (cubed stale bread tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then broiled) for added crunch.
This soup is great served immediately, but even better after it's had time to 'rest'!