Since cauliflower is somewhat of a chameleon, especially as a stand in for potatoes, I had vichyssoise in mind when I decided to make a chilled cauliflower soup. Inspired by Sagegreen’s use of the cauliflower stalk, I was determined to incorporate it, rather than waste it. A visit to my favorite farmer’s market resulted in some beautiful white carrots, which I decided to add for their sweet, mild taste. I also added some ginger and white pepper for subtle warmth, and cream for richness. I enjoyed one serving topped with chives and a second topped with cilantro. Both were delicious, although the characteristic bright note of cilantro enhanced the ginger flavor. This would also be delicious without the cream, but for me, cream makes everything better. I served it cold, but it would also be good warm. - gingerroot —gingerroot
Test Kitchen Notes
Beat the heat with this chilled summer soup, an inspired Vichy-remix. Packed with flavor from farm-fresh vegetables, this soup can also be strained and served warm for a silky introduction to a more formal fall meal. - Maddy —The Editors
serves 6-8 as a starter
generous tablespoon minced fresh ginger (from about a 1” piece)
Tokyo negi onions (can substitute leeks), washed thoroughly and sliced (white parts only, greens reserved for another use)
medium to large white carrots, thickly sliced (I got 1 ½ cups)
cauliflower florets plus 1 cup of sliced stalk (I used a paring knife to peel outer layer of thick skin and did not use the thick stems from the leaves)
1 1/2 cups
dry white wine
Finely chopped chives, for garnish OR finely chopped cilantro stem and leaves, for garnish
Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the foam subsides, add onions, ginger, a pinch of sea salt and cook, stirring, until onions begin to soften.
Add cauliflower stalk and carrots in an even layer, plus ½ cup of chicken stock. Stir to combine and cover. Turn heat down to low and let mixture simmer for about 6 minutes.
At this point, the cauliflower stalk and carrots should be just tender. Add cauliflower florets, the remaining 1-cup of stock, and ¼-cup of white wine. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes or until florets are tender and easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. You may have to turn up the heat to get mixture simmering again.
Once all vegetables are tender, remove pot from heat and allow mixture to cool a bit.
Taste for salt, adding more if necessary. Add white pepper.
Use an immersion blender or regular blender to purée vegetable-stock mixture to desired consistency.
Stir in cream.
Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour before serving.
Top each serving with chives or cilantro and enjoy!
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.