Thursday, February 24, 2011

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Chives & Truffle Oil

Creamy, warm and hearty...the perfect mix on a chilled February evening.  I whipped this flavorful soup up earlier this week...smooth and luscious without any actual cream (that's the beauty of pureed cauliflower...and you get a solid dose of fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants as a bonus).  Take this seemingly simple soup up a notch with a sprinkle of chives and lemon zest, drizzle in some truffle oil and top it with a parmesan tuile and you've got a dressed up, deliciously light and satisfying dinner.

Cauliflower Soup with Chives & Truffle Oil
serves 4

for the parmesan tuiles 
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chives, minced
dash of cayenne pepper

for the soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
32 ounces of low-sodium or homemade chicken or vegetable stock/broth
2 cups water
salt to taste
dash of white pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

for the garnish
zest of 1 lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons of chives, minced
truffle oil (go for a nice, light drizzle)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a stock pot saute garlic, shallot and onion in olive oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add in cauliflower florets and saute another 3 to 4 minutes.  Add in stock, water and spices.  Bring heat up to medium-high, bring to a boil and then lower, simmering until cauliflower is soft, about 30 minutes.
While soup is simmering, mix Parmesan cheese, chives and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and place one to 2 tablespoons of the mixture onto a baking covered covered in wax paper.  You should get about 8 tuiles in total.  Bake in the oven for 4 minutes until lightly golden brown, remove and allow to cool and harden.
Serve soup with chives, a touch of lemon zest (about 1/4 teaspoon), a light drizzle of truffle oil and garnish with a parmesan tuile.

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