Monday, February 23, 2009

Golden Potato-Cauliflower Soup

One of the good things about our relationship is that we have like-minded interests when it comes to food. That isn't meant as we are interested in similar cuisines -- we are -- but more as we agree that we should eat in as much as possible, eat food without labels as much as possible, and eat food using healthy ingredients as much as possible.

Despite that, there's one food practice we don't do that we probably should do more of. That practice is basing meal plans for the week on what we have stocked in our cupboards, freezer and fridge.

And that's what we did with this recipe. I suggested making a cauliflower soup a week or two ago because we had 2 pounds of frozen cauliflower left over from farmers markets from this past fall. So we took that and found this March 2004 recipe from Health: Golden Potato-Cauliflower Soup.
Golden Potato-Cauliflower Soup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup diced French or Italian bread
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 cups sliced cauliflower
3/4 pound sliced Yukon gold potato
28 ounces fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped chive
First make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the three ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside.

Then it's time to prepare the soup, which is pretty easy. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add shallots and celery and cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in cauliflower (ours we pre-cooked, so we added it a few minutes later so as not to overcook it), potato, broth, salt and pepper; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add lemon juice.

Then, in batches, place the soup in a food process; pulse to blend to desired thickness. Divide evenly in 4 servings; serve with croutons and chives.

The heat was a little bit too much for Melissa with the cumin croutons and the red pepper seasoning in the soup. For me, it was delicious, but it did have a gradual heat build-up after each successive spoonful. We didn't pulse until it was smooth, making it a bit less liquid, which was fine by me.

The best part was making a simple soup that used items we had in our home (we had to buy only the bread, shallots and chives).

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