My Recipe Box

Creamy Roasted Garlic Soup with Sauteed Cauliflower & Fresh Herbs

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Serves four.

I often serve this thick and intense soup with a swirl of herb butter along with the fresh herb garnish. To make this, mix equal parts softened butter and chopped sorrel leaves, a small amount of finely chopped chives, and salt to taste. It brings a fresh note to the soup.

For the soup:
  • 4 heads garlic, loose, papery skins removed and 1/4-inch of the tops cut off to expose cloves
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt; more to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 leek (white and light green parts only), chopped and well rinsed
  • 2 large boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sorrel leaves or chives, or a combination
For the cauliflower:
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small head cauliflower (2 lb.), cut into small florets (about 1/2 inch at the widest point)
Make the soup:

Heat the oven to 375°F. Put the garlic heads in a small baking pan. Drizzle on 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and sprinkle on the salt. Add 2 Tbs. water to the pan, cover with foil, and roast until a squeezed clove yields a soft purée, 30 to 45 minutes. When cool, squeeze the pulp from each clove.

In a soup pot over low heat, sweat the onion and leek in 1 Tbs. of olive oil until very soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and thyme and cook another 1 minute. Turn the heat to medium high, add the wine, and let it reduce to just a few teaspoons, about 4 minutes. Add the broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the garlic pulp and simmer until the potatoes are very soft, another 15 to 20 minutes.

Strain the soup, saving both the liquid and solids. In a blender or food processor, purée the solids in batches, using some liquid to help it blend, and pour the puréed solids back in the pot. When all the solids are puréed, add as much of the remaining liquid as necessary to get a consistency like heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sauté the cauliflower:

Heat 2 Tbs. oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the cauliflower florets and sauté. Once they begin to soften, after about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until the cauliflower is deep golden brown and tender but still firm, another 7 to 10 minutes.

To serve:

Reheat the soup. Ladle it into individual bowls, add the cauliflower, and garnish with the sorrel or chives.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 440; Fat (g): 25; Fat Calories (kcal): 230; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 12; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 18; Carbohydrates (g): 43; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 360; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 9;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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