Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chimichurri and Poblano Creme Fraiche

December  8, 2009
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

I keep trying different variations of cauliflower soup since this is one of my favorite vegetables for a soup in the fall and winter. It so versatile and works well whether I pair it with chipolte peppers in adobo sauce and manchego cheese or just with cream and some parmesan. I usually simmer the cauliflower in chicken broth and vegetables before pureeing it, but wanted bring out the flavor of the cauliflower more for this one and chose to roast it instead. Since the resulting flavor was more pronounced, I had more leeway in stirring in a chimichurri without overpowering the cauliflower flavor and added a drizzle of creme fraiche incorporating a roasted pobano pepper and garlic. I served this as the first course at a dinner party last weekend with much success. One guest confessed that he had never cared for cauliflower but loved this soup. —TheWimpyVegetarian

Test Kitchen Notes

ChezSuzanne's technique of roasting cauliflower before simmering it gives this soup a rich, caramel undertone, and the touch of cream and parmesan lend just the right amount of richness to the velvety cauliflower and leek purée. The chimichurri sauce and poblano creme fraiche require a bit of extra time (and blender cleanup), but it's worth the effort; this is a perfect weekend project for when you have an hour or two to lose yourself in a recipe. We recommend using a small head of cauliflower for the right texture. - A&M —The Editors

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 6 first courses or 4 lunch entrees
  • Roasted Cauliflower Soup
  • 1 head cauliflower, sliced, including the core
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 leek, light green parts only, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water (up to 3 cups, as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Chimichurri Sauce and Poblano Creme Fraiche
  • 1 serrano chili, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped or smashed
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (up to 6 tablespoons, as needed)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 poblano or pasilla pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 1 pinch sugar
In This Recipe
  1. Roasted Cauliflower Soup
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the slices of cauliflower on a dry cookie sheet and roast until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. In a large heavy pot, heat the butter and oil until hot. Saute the onion, leek, garlic, and celery in the butter oil mixture until soft and very aromatic. Add the salt. Add the roasted cauliflower and toss with a large spoon until the cauliflower is completely covered with the onion mixture. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Puree in a blender until fairly smooth. If you want it completely smooth, you'll need to use a food mill, but having some texture to it adds to the rustic nature of the roasted flavor. Pour back into the pot and reheat to a simmer. Add the parmesan cheese and cream. Stir in the chimichurri sauce until well incorporated. Serve hot in soup bowls. Drizzle some poblano creme fraiche over the soup.
  1. Chimichurri Sauce and Poblano Creme Fraiche
  2. To make the chimichurri, place the first 7 ingredients in a blender and process until finely chopped. This is a very versatile chimichurri - I've used it on pork, in omelets with Manchego Spanish cheese, and in this soup.
  3. To make the poblano creme fraiche, combine the next seven ingredients starting with the roasted poblano or pasilla pepper in a blender and process until very smooth. Once smooth, I put it into a squirt bottle that allows for different pipe tips, and squeeze the creme fraiche on the soup. This creme fraiche also works well as a spread on sandwiches.
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