In the late 1980’s, my family moved from a small island off the coast of Juneau, Alaska, to a town in West Texas. We went from constant rain, mountains, ocean, icebergs and black bears to hot, dry, flat, dusty, tumble-weedy ol’ West Texas. Talk about culture shock! The sunsets were amazing, though, and the thunderstorms were terrifically terrifying.
Since the majority of our food came in on a barge from Seattle, most of the “fresh”, exorbitantly-priced produce spoiled before it even hit the shelves of the grocery store, along with the milk and bread. (My mom baked bread every week for this very reason. It was heaven. We also had to drink powdered milk, which was…not heaven. It was disgusting.)
When we made our cross-country move from rainy Alaska to parched West Texas, we finally had access to endless access to fresh veggies. You can imagine my mother’s joy at perusing the produce section and picking up almost any vegetable her heart desired and being able to feed it to her decidedly unenthusiastic children. Cauliflower was one of those veggies. I had never tasted it up to that point in my (very) short life. And I hated it. Cauliflower was my mortal food enemy. Steamed, sauteed, hidden underneath a pile of cheese…ick. I just couldn’t stomach it.
A few years ago, I mashed it up with all kinds of delicious dairy products. (Dairy makes everything better.) It became like potatoes, but better. And remarkably less healthy. I now have a full-blown love affair with the pungent white veggie called cauliflower, and try to find any way I can to make it in delicious and healthy ways. It’s a great substitute for potatoes, rice, and even pizza crust.
Over at Elena’s Pantry, I found this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup. I tweaked it to suit my own tastes and method, and it turned out wonderfully.
- 1 head of cauliflower, de-leafed and cut into thick slices.
- 4 Tbsp of olive oil or ghee
- 2 quarts chicken or veggie stock
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- S & P
- Micro greens or finely shredded kale
- Slice cauliflower into 1″ pieces. Drizzle oil on both sides of the cauliflower. Go ahead and rub it in a little.
- In a large glass or ceramic baking dish, lay slices of cauliflower down flat.
- Sprinkle with salt and add 1/2-3/4 cup of water to dish.
- Toss it in the oven at 350 degrees for a good hour, and go do something else. Like paint a portrait.
- After the cauliflower is nice and brown and tender, take it out of the oven.
- In a large soup pot, add 2 Tbsp of ghee or olive oil (I prefer ghee), and saute onions and shallots until soft and golden brown
- Add stock and water (and a tiny bit of Better Than Bouillon if you have it), bring to a boil and add cauliflower.
- Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10-20 minutes
- In small batches, puree your soup in a blender until smooth.
- Put your pureed soup back on the stove in the stock pot on low heat, then add a little black pepper.
- Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with paprika and olive oil, then pile high with shredded kale or micro greens.
I love that there is no dairy in this soup (with the exception of the optional ghee), and it’s so satisfying and rich. It feels like it should be bad for you, but it’s not. In fact, it’s GOOD for you. And it tastes phenomenally better than powdered milk. Trust me.
And if you want to bastardize it and add cheese and bacon, it tastes more like a hearty, wonderful baked potato soup and you’ll eat ALL of it.