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Author Notes: This is on the permanent menu for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. The delicate sweetness of Fuji apples blends perfectly with the nuttiness of the roasted cauliflower to create a balanced, nuanced, soup. And it's so so easy to make - no complicated techniques or obscure spices, just a combination of familiar fall flavors that may not necessarily be thought of as ones that go together. Straining the pureed soup is optional but it really makes the dish luxurious so I wouldn't skip this simple step (it really doesn't take long). And if you really want to elevate the soup, make the tuile and sage cream. Both are incredibly easy but add oodles of sophistication: the crisp and salty tuile is a great contrast to the mild and creamy soup and the sage cream lends a bit of richness and earthiness. (Originally posted at http://raspberryeggplant.blogspot.com/2007/11/orange-cauliflower-and-fuji-apple-soup.html) - raspberryeggplant
Orange Cauliflower and Fuji Apple Soup
- 1 orange cauliflower (medium-large head)
- 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 2 Fuji apples
- 1 medium white onion
- 10 sprigs fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Heat oven to 450° F.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets and transfer to a large baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons canola oil and a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven until the florets are browned in spots, about 30 minutes. Make sure to shake the pan and toss the florets every 10 minutes or so to ensure even baking.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, coarsely chop the apples and set aside.
- Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Mince the sage leaves - you will only need 1 tablespoon.
- When the cauliflower is done, reduce the oven temperature to 350° F.
- Heat the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sage and cook until the onion is very soft, about 6-7 minutes. Add the chopped apple and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
- Add the roasted cauliflower, 4 cups of the stock, white pepper, and a large pinch of salt . Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Let the soup cool for at least 20 minutes, then blend it in 3 batches, adding 2/3 cup stock to each batch. When all the soup has been blended, return it to the pot and add more salt and pepper to taste and more stock if necessary to thin out the soup (water will work, too).
- Optional step: strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve. This will give you a really silky, smooth soup that seems much richer than it really is. But you can skip this step if you don't want to be bothered - I've skipped it and the soup is still stellar.
- Before serving, reheat the soup and add more water or stock as necessary so that the soup is not too thick (it tends to thicken in the fridge).
- Pour 1 tablespoon of the strained sage cream over the soup and serve each bowl with a tuile.
Sage Cream and Aged Cheddar Tuiles
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 ounces aged cheddar cheese or any other hard, dry cheese
- While the soup is simmering, combine the heavy cream and sage in a small saucepan. Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-low heat, and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the cream from the heat and let the sage steep in the cream for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve and set aside. Let come to room temperature before serving (cream can be refrigerated for a few days).
- Shred the cheese using the smallest holes of a box grater or a microplane.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpats (the latter works much better but parchment is ok). Divide the cheese into 6 equal portions and sprinkle each portion onto the parchment in a large round.
- Bake the tuiles until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the tuiles cool on the pan for 1 minute. Move the parchment from the pan to a cool surface and let the tuiles cool completely.
- Tuiles can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week (but I doubt they will last that long...they are addictively good!)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cauliflower Recipe