Friday, January 15, 2010
Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Torn Croutons and Beet Chips (page 127)
In addition to removing the animal products from this dish (butter, milk and cream) we also reduced the fat dramatically. The original soup base called for much more fat that we used and the croutons and beets chips were cooked in fat. Additionally the recipe wanted tiny cauliflower florets for in the soup. We inadvertently forgot those when plating. However I did add them to the soup we had the day for lunch. Both the hubby and I decided we preferred the look and texture of the soup without the small cauliflower florets so I have removed them from the recipe completely.
Other changes we made included removing the onion and replacing it with more leek. It made the soup a nice light green, which we thought was quite pretty. I also think it probably resulted in a more mild “onion” flavor to the final dish.
I was surprised by how well baking the beet chips worked. We baked them on parchment paper because we weren’t certain if they would stain the silpat or not. To coat them evenly will oil we sprayed them with olive oil and then used a pastry brush to evenly coat the top of the beet slices. My friend Sue called me today to tell me that John (her husband) liked the beet chips. While this doesn’t sound like any big news, John doesn’t like beets. So this was a much bigger deal than you realize. Sue will be picking up so beets to make more chips next week.
The torn croutons were also a great addition to the soup. In the past I had always cut the bread into uniform cubes, but I loved the freeform torn shapes. Not only were they pretty but they were quicker. We sprayed these with a little olive oil before baking too.
Overall I came away with a few ideas that I will be using again in the future (the beet chips and torn croutons). This is a great recipe that tastes richer than it actually is. Here is the soup we had for our first course on Wednesday.
Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Torn Croutons and Beet Chips
Makes 8 servings of approximately 2 cups each
2 heads cauliflower
1 leek (white and light green only), cleaned thoroughly and chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt, to taste
¼ teaspoon white pepper, to taste
1 cup water
4 cups soymilk (reserve ¼ cup to make a slurry to thicken soup), or any non-dairy milk
2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 slices whole wheat bread, torn in free form small pieces to make croutons, for garnish.
1 beet, cleaned and trimmed and thinly sliced on a mandoline (1 adjustment thicker than the thinnest setting)
½ teaspoon of oil (use half for croutons and half for beet chips)
Break cauliflower into florets. Put olive oil in a heavy bottom soup pan. Add leeks, curry powder, salt and pepper and cauliflower and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add 1 cup water and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid slightly ajar. Add soymilk and water and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Place soup in blender or Vitamix (in batches) and blend until smooth. Put soup back in pan, adjusting seasonings. Make a slurry of cornstarch and remaining soymilk. Add to soup and cook until thickened.
To make the torn croutons tear bread into small pieces, placing on baking sheet spray with a little olive oil and bake at 375 degrees until browned and crunchy, about 6 minutes.
To make the beet chip slice 1 medium sized beet into very thin slices on mandolin. I did not use the thinnest setting on the mandoline, but one up from that. The slices were very thin but had enough body that they weren’t pliable when raw. Place the beet slices in a single layer on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the chips they are very thin and will cook quickly.
To serve place, the cauliflower soup in a shallow bowl and top with the torn croutons. Then place a few beets chips on top the croutons. If you want to take this over the top you can drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on the soup before serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (22%) - 41.82
Total Fat - 4.7g
Saturated Fat - 0.63g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 338.64mg
Potassium - 1077.98mg
Total Carbohydrates - 30.12g
Fiber - 8.9g
Sugar - 13.18g
Protein - 10.87g
This was my husband’s favorite dish from Wednesday. When I asked him why it was the beet chips. He loves beets so I should have guessed that would make this his favorite. I thought it was a gorgeous soup, definitely worthy of entertaining.
Each serving of this soup contains approximately 110mg of calcium, 2.6mg of iron, 205mg of folate, 55mg of vitamin K, 210mg of phosphorus, 85mg of magnesium, and 10mcg of selenium.
This was another successful experiment veganizing “At Hoc at Home”. We all enjoyed this soup. If you are looking for something reasonably simple that will wow your in-laws or friends this is a recipe worth trying.
This will be my last post for today. We are meeting our friend Louis for dinner and I need to make myself presentable. I will try to get the final recipe we made on Wednesday posted tomorrow.
Have a great evening!