This soup is great comfort dish for cold winter days – especially given that your choices of fresh produce a limited. It is very quick and easy to make, and you can store it in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it.
serves: 8-10 difficulty: easy prep time: 20-25 min
- 1 medium to large head of cauliflower
- 5 large leeks
- 5 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs butter
- 3 quarts of chicken stock, or vegetable stock if you want to keep it vegetarian
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 5 oz pancetta
- truffles – white of black
- 1 Bosc pear
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese – any kind: gorgonzola, Stilton etc
Cut off the dark green parts of the leeks and discard.
Slice the remaining part of the leeks lengthwise, and rinse thoroughly inside spreading the different layers (because typically there is a lot of dirt hiding in the middle of the leek).
Chop the leeks roughly.
Heat the olive oil and the butter in a stock pot, and sauté the leeks until slightly caramelized – about 5 min.
In the meantime, rinse the cauliflower and chop it roughly.
Add the cauliflower to the leeks, and continue sautéing for another 3-4 min.
Add 2 quart of stock – just enough to cover the vegetables, bring to a boil and simmer the cauliflower until very soft – about 15 min.
Take off the heat and wait for the soup to cool off enough to safely put in the blender. Put it in the blender and puree until very smooth.
Return the pureed soup to the stock pot, season with 1 tbs salt and black pepper, and add the cream. The soup is ready.
I have serve this soup with variety of garnishes. Some fried pancetta adds a nice crunchy texture. To prepare the pancetta, chop it in 1/4 inch cubes, place it in a fry pan on low heat, and render it slowly until it is browned.
You can also serve the soup with some truffles – white or black.
An alternative garnish is sautéed pear and blue cheese. Chop the pear in 1/2 inch cubes and sauté it in butter until slightly soft (but not mushy). Crumble the blue cheese. To serve, ladle the soup and top with a few cubes of sautéed pear and some blue cheese.
I recently added a touch of indulgence to this soup: black caviar. I used a simple potato chip, smeared some creme fraiche on it, and added a good dollop of black caviar.
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