Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'ad hoc' Cream of Cauliflower Soup & Crispy Chanterelles

  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup coarsley chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped leeks- white and light green parts only
  • 1/4 teaspoon your favourite curry powder (Keller has a recipe for one in his book, but we used our own)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavey cream
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped chanterelles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • splash (1 teaspoon) white vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • additional butter
  • neutral oil
  • fresh ground black pepper
Clean cauliflower and discard leaves, reserve about 2 cups of neatly trimmed florets about the size of large marbles. Chop remaining cauliflower and stems into 1 inch pieces so that they will cook at approximately the same time (about 8 cups).

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a large saucepan, add onions, leeks, curry, and cauliflower, season with salt, cover with parchment paper lid* and cook, stirring occasionally until almost tender.

After about 20 mins, discard lid, add milk, cream, and water, increase heat to med-high and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 mins, skimming off foam from time to to time.

Working in batches transfer to a Vita-Mix (which Keller uses) or a high powered blender or use an immersion blender and puree until smooth (what I used). If using a blender remember to cool and be wary of the steam. Check seasoning and add more slat salt if needed. Transfer back to large sauce pan and keep warm if eating right away- soup will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

For reserved florets, bring medium sauce pan of salted water and vinegar to boil. Cook florets until tender, 4-6 mins. Drain. Melt remaining butter in a frying pan and sauté florets until they are speckled with rich browns and golds.

For the Chanterelles. Re-use frying pan that you used for florets, add more butter and a bit of neutral oil to prevent butter from burning, saute chopped chanterelles until crispy, not blackened.

* parchment paper lid, prepare a square of parchment paper by folding into a triangle with tip being the centre of your paper like you are making a snowflake design. Cut the tip so that when you open it up there will be a hole the size of about  a quarter. With paper still folded cut rounded corners on the edge of your 'lid' . Use your sauce pan as a guide for size. Apparently the lid slows evaporation, prevents caramelization and the small hole releases excess steam.
I found the lid really did help, none of my onion, leek mixture stuck the bottom and everything got soft with out getting over cooked.

When all is said and done put soup into bowls, top with cauliflower florets and crispy chanterelles and freshly ground pepper. I wrote the recipe as I cooked it and found that mine was under-seasoned, so check salt each step! I will make this again and again and maybe even try the beet chips. 

**cream of cauliflower soup with red beet chips can be found in 'ad hoc at home' page 127

photo by me.


  1. thanks Carol, I added cauliflower to carrot soup the other day, but i have yours now

  2. Checking out you cauliflower & carrot soup, my daughter likes the leaf in the middle.

    cheers, Megan

  3. Wow this really sounds good. Thanks for sharing on Just Another Meatless Monday!



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