You know what?
I’m having a meltdown this week. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because the debate made sure that Private Practice couldn’t be on last night. Maybe it’s because I would like to unfriend everyone on Facebook, forever… or at least until mid-November. Maybe it’s because I’m inching closer to 30! eeek. Maybe it’s because I emotionally ate ice cream for dinner and then emotionally online shopped until midnight.
Let’s talk about soup instead. Especially since my husband is reading this.
So the thing is, last year around this time I had some incredible cauliflower soup that seriously just melted in my mouth. No… I mean MELTED. I attempted to recreate it but it turned out like paste and consequently… ended up being showcased in my recipe disasters of 2011. But… I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. For a year. For 12 loooooong months. Do you have any idea how long that is in impatient, annoying girl-time?
Let me tell you: a long time. Totally worth it now though. Maybe sometimes patience pays off? I will probably never truly find out.
Oh and here’s the other thing. I’ve never been able to get behind the whole mashed cauliflower craze. No people, they are not potatoes. It’s freaking Thanksgiving and I want to eat REAL MASHED POTATOES. It’s the biggest food holiday of the year and I had a great workout this morning and I plan on stuffing myself to the brim and then doing it again four hours later and no, I don’t want to touch your mashed cauliflower no matter how delish you say it is.
Alright, perhaps the reason I haven’t been a fan is because I’d just have to swirl so many butter rivers and cream streams and five thousand pounds of cheese with eight sprinkles of salt into the mix in order to make it palatable and do what it’s supposed to do… taste like potatoes. Whatevs.
BUT. I might be changing my tune now. I’m not about to go swap one of my favorite side dishes for these goofy looking florets, but hear me out when I tell you that this soup tastes eerily similar to potatoes. To, say, potato soup. Except it’s lighter in texture and taste and is creamier, yet still does the whole mouth melting thing. It’s sort of… heavenly. And YOU KNOW how I feel about things that slightly resemble broccoli. Ugh.
What I’m trying to say is that if you don’t like cauliflower, you will probably still like this. I hope so.
While the soup is incredible and made most of it’s journey straight from the pot into my mouth, the toppings are what initially sold me on this soup last year. The roasted cauliflower is something I can handle in a small amount while enveloped in a soup pillow, but the crispy fried capers and chive oil are the bees knees. I mean it. If you don’t like capers, try them fried. Little crunchy pops in your mouth? Um hello lover.
If you’re having a meltdown sort of week, you might wanna make this soup. If you’re having a great sort of week, you also might want to make this soup. If you have a ton of “fake”book friends that are spamming up your feed with political rants every 30 seconds, definitely do not make them soup. And then unsubscribe. And make yourself the darn soup.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Capers and Chive Oil
Yield: serves about 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
1 sweet onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
1/4 cups capers, patted completely dry
salt and pepper to taste
additional roasted cauliflower for topping
1/4 cup chopped chives
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, then add onions with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in chopped cauliflower and vegetable stock, then cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until softened. A few times during cooking, use your spoon to press down and break apart or mash the cauliflower.
While cauliflower is cooking, make the chive oil. Combine the chives and olive oil in a blender or food processer and blend until totally smooth. If needed, you can strain the oil thru a very fine mesh strainer. To fry the capers, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add dry capers and shake the pan or stir, tossing for 1-2 minutes until crispy and fried. Set aside to drain on a paper towel.
Once the cauliflower is soft, scoop it (and all the remaining broth) into a large bowl. Add half of the mixture to a blender with half cup of water and puree until smooth. Once smooth, add back to the pot and puree the remaining cauliflower mixture with the other half cup of water. Add to the rest.
Heat over low heat, stirring in milk or cream and remaining butter. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then garnish with additional roasted cauliflower (I roasted at 425 with olive oil, salt + pepper for 40 minutes, tossing), capers and chive oil.
I feel so much better already.