So I took a break. You probably didn't notice . . . but I DID! We took a quick little trip to Tennessee for Easter with my family. And . . . look at the sunset view from my parents' deck . . . can you blame me??
My littlest, who was born and raised in flat-as-a-pancake South Louisiana, thought he was on a huge mountain and asked if he was close to heaven . . . . yes, baby, I think you might be.
Anyway, while we were there, my mom made this awesome creamy but cream-less cauliflower soup — an unusual take on a basic veggie.
- 1 head cauliflower (2 pounds)
- 8T unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced thin
- 1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
- Salt and pepper
- 4 1/2 - 5 cups water
- 1/2t sherry vinegar
- 3T minced fresh chives
- Pull outer leaves off of cauliflower and trim stem. Cut around core to remove; thinly slice core and reserve. Cut heaping 1 cup of 1/2-inch florets from head of cauliflower; set aside. Cut remaining cauliflower crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.
- Melt 3T butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, onion, and 1 1/2t salt. Stirring frequently until leek and onion are soft but not browned, about 7 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high. Add 4 1/2 cups water, sliced core, and half of sliced cauliflower. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add remaining sliced cauliflower, return to simmer, and continue to cook until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily — about 15-20 minutes.
- While soup simmers, melt remaining 5T of butter in skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook, stirring frequently until florets are golden brown and butter is browned and imparts nutty aroma — 6-8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and use slotted spoon to transfer florets to small bowl. Toss florets with vinegar and season with salt to taste. Pour browned butter in skillet into small bowl and reserve for garnishing.
- Process soup in blender until smooth — about 45 seconds. Rinse out pan. Return pureed soup to pan and return to simmer over medium heat, adjusting consistency with remaining water as needed (soup should have thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred) and seasoning with salt to taste.
- Serve, garnishing individual bowls with browned florets, drizzle of browned butter, and chives and seasoning with pepper to taste.
Anyway, the break was great, but I realized as I looked out of the airplane window and saw the swamp coming into view that I was happy to be back — South Louisiana is now home . . . and where my heart is.