Here is a fancy French twist on a classic cream of cauliflower soup that you can make at home today. The roast cauliflower topping, tossed with almond slivers, espelette pepper and flat parsley elevate an everyday dish to a delicious French restaurant-quality experience. The variance of textures are amazing and this dish is satisfying enough to be a meatless meal for your family.
You will need:
- two heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 4 medium sized potatoes - totaling about 3 cups of chopped potatoes
- Fleur de sel - 2 tsps
- 8 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer to make a vegetarian recipe)
- 1/4 cup of almonds cut into slivers
- 1/2 tsp of Espelette pepper (see below)
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley (Italian parsley, or flat parsley is preferred)
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- 2 tbsps of olive oil
Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
First let's make the garnish:
Take the florets from one head of cauliflower and spread them out on a baking tray.
Sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt and the espelette pepper as well as with a generous pour of olive oil.
Bake for 40 minutes until the florets are browned and the cauliflower is fully cooked. No need to turn while cooking.
Lay the almonds, cut into slivers, onto a cooking tray. Bake for 5 minutes until very light brown. No oil is needed.
Set both aside for the garnish.
Meanwhile, drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil in a soup pot. Add the potatoes, the remaining head of cauliflower and 1 tsp of fleur de sel.
Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock until the ingredients are just covered. (Le Chef's Wife tip - it is easier to add liquid at the end than to fix a watery broth - always use less water than you think you need and adjust while you are cooking.)
Simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered & stirring every 5 minutes or so, on medium heat until the potatoes and cauliflower break apart easily.
Blend. I like to use an immersion blender but you can use a blender as well. Blend well until the soup is completely smooth.
Add the cream and blend again for a few more seconds until fully integrated. Set the soup aside.
Now, to complete the garnish!
In a mixing bowl, lightly toss the roasted cauliflower florets with the roasted almonds and chopped parsley. Add a little more salt if needed. Voilà, you have your delicious cauliflower garnish!
Place a half of a cup of the cauliflower garnish in the bottom of each soup bowl. Ladle the Cream of Cauliflower soup around the garnish, avoiding the center so that the garnish stays pretty. Place a couple more leaves of parsley on the top for decorative measure. You can also swirl extra virgin olive oil over the top for an artistic flourish.
Espelette Pepper - is a light pepper from the Basque region in France. It has a very particular taste - it is light and fresh with a nice spice that is not too aggressive. I was able to find the same brand we have at home that you can order off Amazon: Espelette Pepper
Le Chef's Wife tip - it is easier to add liquid at the end than to fix a watery broth - always use less water than you think you need and adjust while you are cooking.
Keywords: Cream of cauliflower soup, cauliflower soup, creamy soup