We eat because we must, we cook because we can.
For those who willingly spend many hours in front of the stove, cooking is the connective tissue between all of life’s big moments; I remember what I ate at my wedding more than what I said, and I remember every dish that was brought to my mother-in-law when her husband died, though I have trouble recalling who was around as I carefully wrapped up the taco casseroles and buttermilk pie.
We cook delicious things to make special occasions more memorable, and to comfort ourselves when the world seems confusing or senseless. To that end I strongly recommend Mystery Soup for the weeknight cook.
This is a very simple but surprisingly hearty blend of a few ingredients that take almost no time at all to bring together. The only significant tweak I made was to drizzle the cauliflower with some good olive oil first and roast it for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, to give it an extra smoky flavor and reduce its cooking time in the stock. You don’t have to do this.
I do think it will taste better with homemade stock, but do what you can on that front.
Once I had it all cooked down (I used closer to four cups, rather than six, of the stock) I used my immersion blender, rather than a food processor, and it worked just fine. The revelation is the cream and lemon, which take this soup -- which I have made many versions of over the years -- to a whole new complex level of flavor. This all took me under and hour, and could have been less if I had not been distracted by Twitter.
Use a little extra dollop of the crème fraiche. Get some nice crusty bread to dip into your bowl. Be good to yourself. And everyone around you, too.
Makes 4-8 servings
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).Order now