Welcome to November!
Soup’s on every Monday this month, so stayed tuned for steaming hot liquid nutrition for your face.
I start off my soup binge with a recipe I clipped from Vancouver’s Metro newspaper sometime last fall.
Now, I’d normally call a recipe that I take and alter from somewhere else an adaptation, since you’ve gotta give credit where credit is due… but, well… this soup…
This soup… how do I put it? Firstly, it the recipe only listed vague measurements and 3 ingredients: goats cheese, cauliflower, and stock. What? Who made this recipe, and were they insane?
There was so much opportunity for complexity and flavour in this soup!
One thing for certain: the combination of goat cheese and cauliflower had me intrigued — goat cheese is so wonderfully salty and pungent, and cauliflower is so mild. I thought that, if anything, the soup would end up just being a stage for something that tasted mostly of goat cheese. Although I’m always down for goat cheese hogging the spotlight on my palate, this soup definitely needed a kick in the pants.
I started with aromatics: garlic, onion — an obvious base for a robust flavor like goat cheese. Also: cream, savory notes of fresh sage, and bit of heat — perfect for autumn soup. Soon, a measly 3 ingredients became 8, and the rest is really too much of my own imagination to call “adaptation” anymore!
Cauliflower Goat Cheese Soup
*inspired by a recipe clipped from the Metro
- 2 tablespoons butter, for sauteing
- 1/2 medium white onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 large head of cauliflower (approx. 4 cups)
- 6 cups veggie or chicken stock
- 1 cup soft goat cheese
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, diced
- white pepper, to garnish
Cut your cauliflower (or cauliflowers — I had to buy two small ones) into florets, discarding leaves and any green parts of the base. Rinse them well under warm water and put the florets in a strainer to dry.
Roughly chop your onion and garlic — you don’t have to be really careful, since they’re going to be pureed anyways. First, saute the just onion the bottom of a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic and saute for another minute before stirring in the cauliflower florets.
Add 6 cups of soup stock to the pot, then cover the soup and simmer over medium-low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
After an hour, your soup should be a lovely golden brown hue and the cauliflower florets should be completely soft.
Remove the soup from the heat. Now, use either an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot, or transfer the soup to a food processor and puree in batches. Be careful, though, since the soup will still be hot!
Once the soup is all pureed, return it to the stove top. Crumble or chop your goat cheese into the hot soup, and gently stir until it’s all dissolved — don’t drop the whole huge chunk in and stand there, in front of the stove, stirring and cursing like a moron the way I did the other night. Ugh.
When the goat cheese is all dispersed into the cauliflower base, stir in the cream and fresh diced sage and leave on low heat for another 15 minutes. Generously season with white pepper.
And there we go — a super simple soup that’s smooth, rich, and robust, yet fancy enough to make the lucky people you serve it to think you slaved away for hours! If you’re a fan of sage, I suggest garnishing your soup with a fresh leaf before serving — it adds a lot to the color to the presentation of the dish.
Eat this soup piping hot with french bread on the side! Yum!