|Chive talkin'. Chives are such a pretty, underused garnish, shown atop Creamy Cauliflower Soup.|
Cauliflower is in the cabbage family, and nowhere does this flavor taste more apparent to me than when it's used in a soup. Since cauliflower imparts such an assertive flavor, I only added a few other basic soup veggies and a requisite bay leaf so as not to "muddy" the boldness.
During the chilly months, I like a substantial soup, so I've also added a potato or two to thicken this potage and make it more of a main dish than a starter. Just a quick whiz with my immersion blender – and voilà, dinner! [You can also use a regular blender. Just be very careful with the hot liquid and proceed in small batches.] If you prefer a daintier soup – more of a velouté – just strain before serving. But be forever frugal: Save any leftover pulp to flavor mashed potatoes or your next vegan quiche.
This economical soup was inspired by another Reading Terminal Market find, a huge head of cauliflower, which I thought was quite a bargain at 99 cents for a head. Assuming you can also find $1-per-head cauliflower, this recipe makes a huge pot of about 8 servings for – get this! – about 25 cents each. And even if your cauliflower costs $3 a head, this soup is still a bargain with each serving coming in at under 50 cents.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 small potatoes, diced [If they are organic, don't bother peeling]
1 package silken tofu [Refrigerated kind]
4 cups vegetable broth [I recommend Better than Bouillon ]
1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh chives or parsley for garnishMakes about 8 generous servings
Bring to a boil then lower to a hearty simmer [medium-low-ish] and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until all the veggies are soft. Remove from heat and carefully puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. Add garnish and serve with crusty bread and/or a side salad.