After the decadence of the holidays, it's time to get back to some normal eating and cooking! I recently discovered the magazine La Cucina Italiana, and a good friend was kind enough to give me a subscription for Christmas!
I adapted this recipe from one I found in the current edition. It also gave me a second time to use my new Immersion Blender which I got in the Family Christmas Secret Santa Exchange!
I was hoping to make a nice, healthy vegetable based soup. And while it is primarily vegetable, overall I would use much less butter than the recipe called for. I might actually just sautee the leeks in only oil. And the bacon is just an optional garnishment to sprinkle on top. The recipe I got my inspiration from actually used veal.
CAULIFLOWER PUREE SOUP
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 of a very large onion sliced thinly (about 1 - 1 1/2 cups)
1 head cauliflower cut into small florettes (approximately 1 lb)
1/2 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 in. pieces (approximately 1/2 lb)
3 1/2 Tbsp butter, divided
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 leek, white and yellow parts chopped
2 slices of bacon diced
salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot heat the olive oil on medium heat, add the onions, lower the heat to med-low and sautee for about 5 minutes or until they are soft
Add the cauliflower, potatoes a healthy pinch of salt and 2 Tbsp of the butter. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Add 2 cups of broth, bring to a boil and simmer on low, covered for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, start the leeks and bacon. In one pan, heat the remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp butter over medium heat and sautee the leeks for about 15 minutes.
**again, in the future I would not use this much butter
After 15 minutes, add 1 1/2 cups of stock and a dash of salt and simmer on low for another 15 minutes.
In a separate pan cook the diced bacon on med-low until it is nice and crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Drain the cooking liquid from the leeks into the soup pot and reserve the leeks.
Remove the soup from the heat and with an immersion blender puree the soup. Test the consistency, you can always add more stock or water to thin out the soup if you like, but I found this consistency perfect.
**if you do not have an immersion blender, puree in batches in a blender
Ladle soup into bowls and top with leeks, bacon and some freshly ground black pepper