Friday, December 2, 2011

"A little purity between holiday binges"

I love that idea -- let's focus on good, basic, non-processed and simple foods between the big deals of Thanksgiving and the holidays to come.
A former chef at the Berkeley foodie mecca, Chez Panisse, has posted this cauliflower soup recipe that will be just the ticket. Cauliflower is at its peak season now -- vendors at our Findlay Market have lovely, home-grown heads this weekend -- and this recipe has a blessedly short ingredient list.
Give it a try, even if you have to get your ingredients at the supermarket!

Recipe: Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup
Serves 8

3 T olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large, fresh head cauliflower, broken into florets
Salt, to taste
5 1/2 cups water, divided
Olive oil and pepper, to taste


1.   Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat without letting it brown for 15 minutes.
2.   Add the cauliflower, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew the cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes.

3.   Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. In this time it will thicken slightly.

4.   Thin the soup with 1/2 cup hot water. Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

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