Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil

Cauliflower is the new kale! You heard it here first!  Actually, it’s been proclaimed the new kale for about a year now but it’s still really really really good.  My favorite preparation is to simply roast it with olive oil, salt and pepper to bring out the delicious nutty, caramel flavors (and then maybe add some pomegranate seeds, parsley, hazelnuts…).  However, given that winter has finally decided to grace us with its below freezing temperatures and gale force winds, I decided to take the roasted cauliflower one step further by turning it into a soup.

This humble soup of roasted cauliflower, onion, garlic, water and milk is delicious served as is.  But, finishing with sautéed mushrooms and truffle oil really elevates the dish and lends an earthy flavor and aroma.  Serve it as an appetizer or turn it into the main attraction by adding some crusty bread and a small side salad.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil
(serves 4-6)

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups water
2 cups milk
1/2 Tbs sugar
4 oz wild mushrooms sautéed in 1 Tbs butter
sour cream (or greek yogurt or creme fraiche) (optional)
truffle oil (not optional…)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cauliflower in 2 Tbs olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast for 30-40 minutes, until browned.   Set aside.

Heat a large pot or dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat with the remaining 1 Tbs olive oil.  Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute before adding the roasted cauliflower.

Add the water, milk and sugar and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes (or risk burning yourself while pureeing).  Puree with immersion blender or in batches in a food processor until smooth.  Return soup to dutch oven, reheat and add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with mushrooms, truffle oil, and a dollop of sour cream (or greek yogurt/creme fraiche) if desired.

 

 

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Spicy Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

 

Despite “springing forward” last weekend, winter continued to threaten this past week with snow showers and below freezing temperatures.  The return of the cold weather left me running for my earmuffs and mittens and craving warm, comforting foods like this quick and easy soup.  The beauty of this soup is that it only calls for 5 main ingredients (6 if you add noodles) and can be made in about 20 minutes…and it is actually healthy and contains no butter (I bet you never thought I could do it)! It derives most of it’s flavor from the spicy sausage but you can use a mixture of regular and spicy sausage, if desired, to tone down the spice level.   Enjoy and cross your fingers for warmer weather ahead!

Spicy sausage, white bean, and kale soup

(serves 4)

1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 to 1 lb spicy chicken sausage (about 3 links), casings removed
6 cups chicken broth
1 14oz can of white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch of kale, chopped
handful of egg noodles (optional)
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium/high heat.  Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the sausage and cook until browned.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, reduce heat to bring to a simmer and add white beans.  If using noodles, add these now and cook according to package directions (usually only several minutes).  In the final minute of cooking, mix in the kale until wilted.  Ladle into serving bowls and top, if desired, with freshly grated parmesan cheese.