Something special happens when you roast vegetables……the sugars caramelize and the flavors intensify creating an entirely new flavor profile. I have been roasting vegetables for many years, and when I just want a simple side dish, I’ll toss my prepared vegetables with a little olive oil and seasonings and pop them into a very hot oven to roast. Some of my favorite vegetables to roast are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and winter squash. I had a big bowl of leftover roasted cauliflower in the refrigerator this past week and decided to turn it into a creamy soup. I added in some sautéed onions and garlic, simmered it all in chicken broth, and then pureed the soup into a bowl of creamy goodness. I like to garnish my soups, especially creamy ones, as they can look a little boring without a little added something.
To garnish this soup, I fried up a little finely diced pancetta along with some coarse whole grain breadcrumbs to add texture and interest but you could garnish your soup with just about anything from a dollop of sour cream, to some chopped green onions or chives. You can puree your soup in a blender, food processor, or with a hand wand depending on what you have on hand. I left my soup quite thick, but feel free to add a little additional water or broth to thin your soup if you prefer.
Deborah Mele 2013
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- 1 Large Head of Cauliflower, or 8 Cups, Cut Into Florets
- 4 Teaspoons Olive Oil, Divided
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 3/4 Cup Chopped Onion
- 4 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Pancetta
- 1 Cup Whole Grain Bread, Cut Into Pea Size Pieces
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley Leaves
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Toss the cauliflower with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the cauliflower onto a baking sheet, and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden brown and tender.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the pancetta over medium heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
- Add the breadcrumbs, stirring to mix with the oil and pancetta, then cook, stirring often until the crumbs are crisp and golden, about 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, toss with the parsley and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan, and cook the onions and garlic over medium low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the broth and water to the onion mixture and bring to a boil.
- Add the cauliflower to the saucepan, and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Taste, and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Add the heavy cream to the pot and then puree until smooth and creamy in batches.
- Return the soup to the pot and keep warm.
- To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls, then top with a couple of tablespoons of the garnish.