I felt I needed a meat-tox and something lighter for iftar yesterday. I’m not getting in as much activity as I normally do since being quarantined (now almost two months!). I came across this recipe on NYTimes’ Cooking site and it seemed easy with not a lot of ingredients so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m gonna note the alterations I did because I didn’t for example, have vegetable stock, but I stopped letting things like that stop me from trying a recipe. I also add a little more garlic because I just always do in my cooking. It still turned out really tasty!
CREAMY CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH ROSEMARY OLIVE OIL
- For rosemary oil: 1 cup olive oil, 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves minced (about 1 tbs) note: I did 4 cloves
- 1 quart vegetable stock (note: I didn’t have any so I just did 3 1/2 cups water and 3 tbs butter)
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cored and broken into 1 1/2 florets
- 2 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper plus more to taste
- Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon, for serving (note: I skipped this)
- Optional: 3 cups diced rustic country bread for croutons (note: I just used the croutons we had at home)
- Make the rosemary oil: In a medium skillet, combine the olive oil and rosemary sprigs. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, lowering the heat if the oil reaches a full simmer. (You want to cook it at a very gentle simmer to avoid frying the rosemary.) Carefully pour the oil and rosemary into a small bowl, leaving a slick of oil in the pan if you plan to make croutons. Allow the rosemary to cool completely in the oil while you make the soup.
- Make the soup: In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (Be careful not to let the garlic scorch!)
- Add the stock (or in my case, water and butter), cauliflower, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil over high. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the optional croutons: Heat the reserved skillet with the residual rosemary oil over medium. Add the bread cubes, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing often, until toasted all over, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a plate or board to cool.
- Strain and discard the rosemary stems from the rosemary oil. Working in batches if necessary, carefully transfer the vegetables, stock and 1/4 cup rosemary oil to a blender and blend on high until creamy. Add more rosemary oil to taste, and blend to combine. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. If the soup seems thin, let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce slightly. (Remember: The soup will continue to thicken as it cools.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Note, I also added a dash of garlic powder to this step.
- Serve hot. Garnish each serving with a swirl of rosemary oil, a few croutons, and a sprinkle of lemon zest. The soup will thicken as it sits; add more stock as necessary when reheating. Leftover rosemary oil will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Let me know if you try it and what you think! I love eating vegetable based meals but I’m always worried my husband won’t enjoy it because he loves his meat, but he devoured this too!