So I’ve talked about how my husband is not a huge fan of vegetables. For the most part, he is a good sport about eating them, even if they aren’t as mushy as he’d prefer. I mostly think he does this to spare the heartache of listening to me give him a lecture on the nutritional benefits of veggies. However, as much as he loves me, there are certain vegetables he absolutely positively will not touch, no matter how mushy they are or how much cheese I put on them. Cauliflower is one of these. This past Christmas, a friend gave me a cookbook written by Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld. It’s called Deceptively Delicious. The main trick she does is steam and puree certain veggies and then use the puree to sneak into dishes: like pureed beets into pancakes, pureed sweet potatoes or butternut squash into spaghetti sauce, or cauliflower into soup. Last week I received a cauliflower head in my CSA box. Not wanting it to go to waste (and not wanting to eat the whole thing myself), I decided to copy Mrs. Seinfeld’s cauliflower trick. So in this soup you get double the benefits. Only after hubby ate a couple of bite of the soup did I tell him the secret ingredient; he said he couldn’t even taste it, and that he loved, loved, loved the soup. Success!
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloved, minced or pressed
4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
4 red potatoes, diced
2 broccoli crowns, chopped
broccoli rabe (optional; I had it in my CSA box, so I threw it in here to get rid of it)
1 cauliflower floret, stems removed, and chopped
3 T. olive oil (or butter)
3 T. flour
2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
tabasco sauce (or paprika)
1) In a stockpot over medium heat, “caramelize” your onions for about 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook another 5 minutes.
2) Pour in broth; bring to a boil. Add potatoes to pot; boil over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
3) Add broccoli and cauliflower; return to a boil. Turn down to medium heat; steam 10-15 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Turn down to a low simmer.
4) Using a slotted spoon, scoop broccoli and cauliflower into a blender or food processor. (I left a few little chunks of broccoli in the soup cuz I like it a bit chunky.) And it’s ok if you get little pieces of onions and potatoes in the processor. However, if you would like for your entire soup to be creamy, place all the soup into the fodd processor or blender. (You can even use an immersion blender, if that strikes your fancy.) Process until smooth.
a) if you processed only the broccoli and cauliflower, leave the puree in the blender until after the next step (step 5)
b) if you processed the whole soup, you can return it to the stockpot and leave it, covered, on a low simmer.
5) In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add in flour; stir quickly with a gravy whisk (or regular whisk) to combine.
6) Add milk to flour mixture; whisk until lumps dissolve. Pour in pureed broccoli and cauliflower to milk mixture; stir to combine. Pour into stockpot with rest of soup. Add extra milk if you desire it to be thinner. Heat through, then remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted.
7) Season to taste using the salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce (or paprika).
Yields 4-5 one-cup servings.
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