Well, it’s official. As predicted by culinary industry watchers a few years back, cauliflower is the new kale. It’s everywhere these days—from pizza crusts to bowls to roasted with earthy spices and garlic. Boosted by its Keto-friendliness and its convenient color, we’ve come to see it as the perfect substitute for rice and potatoes.
It’s also one of the easiest winter vegetables to turn into a quick mid-week soup that’s perfect for lunch or alongside sandwiches and salads for dinner. This is a mild and comforting soup, enlivened by sharp Romano cheese and garnishes of homemade croutons and microgreens.
You’d be hard pressed to find a dish this affordable, flavorful and healthful. It’s a great way to start the new year.
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head cauliflower, trimmed into florets
32 ounces chicken or vegetable stock
¼ shredded Romano cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
In a Dutch oven or large sauce pan, heat the oil to medium high. Add the onion, celery and garlic, and sweat until soft but not brown. Add the cauliflower and stock, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft. Remove the pan from the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth, or alternatively, pour it carefully into a blender. If using a blender, add it in batches if necessary. Return the mixture to the pan and heat on medium heat. Add the cheese and whisk until incorporated. Add the cream and whisk. Do not let the mixture boil. Add the bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-7 minutes and serve. Garnish with homemade croutons and microgreens.
For the homemade croutons:
4 slices dense white or wheat bread, trimmed of edges and cut into bite-sized cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried herbs of your choice (try sumac for an exotic, lemony flavor, classic Herbes de Provence, or just oregano or rosemary)
Kosher salt to taste
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with oil until evenly coated. Toss with the herbs and salt. Place on a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake for about 5 minutes, or until crisp but not brown. Remove from the pan and cool on a plate before serving.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.