ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH BACON
300 Sensational Soups
by Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds
It would be easy to skip the roasting step and just throw the cauliflower into the pot raw, but in our opinion cauliflower is one of those vegetables that benefits greatly from being roasted. The oven browning brings out its sweetness and concentrates its flavor like no soak in a liquid ever could. Add salty bacon, and you've got a no-holds-barred flavor-fest going on in your mouth. Finally, we decided to thicken it with bread, which Grandma would definitely have approved of.
• Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
• Rimmed baking sheet
• 1 head cauliflower, cut into 2-inch pieces
• 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
• 8 slices bacon, chopped
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
• 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
• 3 cups torn French or Italian bread (crusts removed)
• 1 tsp paprika
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• 2 tsp white wine vinegar
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1. On baking sheet, combine cauliflower and 2 tbsp of the olive oil; toss to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven until soft and brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
3. Pour off all but about 3 tbsp of the fat in the pot. Add onion and garlic; saute for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock, bread, paprika and cayenne; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar.
4. Using an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender in batches, puree soup until smooth. Return to the pot, if necessary, and season with salt and black pepper.
5. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with parsley and bacon.
Seasoning with a little bit of vinegar at the end of cooking heightens the flavor of the soup. Although most home ' cooks think only in terms of salt and pepper when it comes to adjusting the seasoning in their dishes, we've found that a little acid goes a long way toward making a soup taste just right.