Saturday, February 28, 2015

Easy and elegant cauliflower soup, plus an old friend gets glam

By Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini


Don't miss the giveaway opportunity at the end of the post! 


You may remember our friend, Cauliflower, aka the Great Deceiver, the wonderful, versatile vegetable that can play so many different roles in so many different meals.  Well, our little veggie is all grown up and ready to party.  

So that's where my fascinator went!
A few weeks ago, MJ was fighting a cold and looking for soothing soups when she came across a very easy idea from Sue Riedl, a Globe and Mail columnist and food blogger who is brilliant and practical. If she ever publishers a cookbook, we will the first in line to buy it.

She suggested that cauliflower and stock could be cooked together and blended to make an amazing soup.   


 We said, Really? Wouldn’t it need a bit more than that?  It didn’t. It was perfect,creamy and filling with plenty of taste.




But when the cold cleared up we still wanted this soup and thought that we’d try a few more variations.  Here’s the result of our test.  

CAULIFLOWER SOUP 

You will need:
 4 cups good quality chicken stock
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
3 green onions, white and green, sliced (optional)
EVOO  (optional)
2 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Spicy oil (optional)

You'll have noticed that the only two required ingredients are chicken stock and cauliflower!
We do love options, so we chopped the green onions and sautéed them in olive oil until they were nicely caramelized.  We added a bit of parsley. 
Meanwhile, we cut up the cauliflower into florets and added it to a pot (4 cups) of good quality chicken stock.  We know it was high quality because we made it from scratch.  We always have stock in the freezer. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.  (We think you could make this with commercial stock or broth from a box or can).  
We boiled the stock and cauliflower florets together for about twenty minutes, until the florets were tender.  We stirred in the green onions and parsley. 
Next , and why is this so much fun, we puréed it with our ancient immersion blender. It was soooo good. 

You: How good was it?
Us: It was so good, we made it again the next day. 

It’s good enough to serve at our next dinner party!  




Not only was it creamy, good and easy, but it was gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb and low-calorie, and without artificial additives. Since what we were really looking for was easy ways to add more vegetables to our life, we decided to add some sour cream (so much for low-calorie and dairy-free).

We also experimented with a drizzle of spicy oil on top. We loved our little heart design.  


So welcome our friend, Cauliflower, back.  We think she looks pretty good dressed up!


The only downside was we kept eating it and then having to make more so we could get the photos with the toppings.   

We had some other ideas, but we ran out of time, cauliflower and stock. So we hope you’ll suggest a few more toppings or ingredients in the comments.  

We’ll have a draw from among YOUR suggestions for one of our book collector tote bags, now including the cover for The Marsh Madness.





Victoria Abbott is the mysterious collaboration between the artist and photographer Victoria Maffini and her mother, the mystery writer, Mary Jane Maffini.  That's us! Strangely enough, our three book collector mysteries, The Christie Curse, The Sayers Swindle and The Wolfe Widow all contain lots of food.




The Marsh Madness is due out in September 2015.

BUT


































Find us on Facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/maryjane.maffini
 http://www.facebook.com/BookCollectorMysteries

Follow us on Twitter!
https://twitter.com/AbbottMysteries

Check out the fun on Pinterest!

http://www.pinterest.com/jbinghamkelly/




Find out more about us here!





44 comments:

  1. I hope Mrs. Cauliflower didn't mind sacrificing herself for the soup! So enjoyed your post today and the recipe is wonderful! xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Roberta, It was a bit of fun for in this dreary winter. XO MJ

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have almost none of the ingredients in the house, but now I want this soup! I'm wondering what kind of spicy oil you dribbled on top.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nancy I just dribbled President's Choice Spicy Stir Fry Oil, but am pursuing other options!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not a big fan of cauliflower but this sounds good. I'm game! I'll give it a try. Not sure what type of topping - maybe cheese? So if you leave out all the optionals you have chicken broth with cauliflower --- this is one time you'd rather add more in for flavor.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We were stunned at how good it was before the options (but the broth was very good). Let us know, Linda! XO

    ReplyDelete
  7. That sounds delicious, and so easy! I've started getting a head of cauliflower every time I go to the store, we've been eating it so much more lately.

    I still have two quarts of turkey stock in the freezer, leftover from our last Thanksgiving. Now I know what to do with them. Thanks, MJ.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wonder how hearts of palm, carrots, and canned baby corn on the cob would taste in there? 😀

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the recipe and the pictures! I might add chicken chunks, shredded cheese, oyster crackers and a dash or more of hot sauce. Thank you for this opportunity!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I really hate to cook, so except for just the simple, very basic stuff, I don't. So I can't offer any suggestions. (I don't eat or handle chicken, either, so that complicates things even more.) Should I mention that I don't like cauliflower either? But I do love your books, and I think the tote bag is great!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Soup sounds great but I think I might add some grated cheddar cheese to give it a little extra flavor. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm thinking a little Greek yogurt and some bacon bits would go nice on top of the soup.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would crumble bacon on the top. Lots of bacon!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I LOVE soup, and I'm always looking for new ones to try--especially when they're this easy. I'd probably put a sprinkle of cheese on top for hubby.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Looks good. If it will get me to eat more vegetables I'm willing to give it a try. I have a great no-salt seasoning that has a little kick, so maybe could add a sprinkle of that. If I'm not brave enough to go it alone with cauliflower yet maybe the old stand-by broccoli could join in. And I'm sure my granddaughter would squeeze some Sriracha in there, even with the spicy oil.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Even though cauliflower is not a favorite in our house, this soup does look delicious, and I think a little shredded cheddar cheese on top would be lovely. Thanks for the fun! rencw@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have always loved cauliflower which is a staple in our home. Soup, even better since it is soothing and tasty, especially with basil. Thanks for this lovely post. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  18. The soup is a winner and I would make it for the family who would love this delectable offering. Healthy, and appealing. Perfect for winter. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Soup is a big favourite in our house, and cauliflower is often an ingredient. I've never tried this incarnation before, though. We like raw or cooked cauliflower with roasted red pepper dip, and I think a dollop, or maybe decorative dots, on top of this soup would be grand! Adrienne / adrienne(at)magma(dot)ca

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love chives, so I'd probably try sprinkling a few of those on top, and a little dark green make pop for a bit of color. :)

    - Miranda, letyourmindalone (at) Hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I need to eat more veggies and this recipe sounds like a good way to do that. It might be nice to add some pesto sauce, or, cheese!

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. She is looking quite elegant!
    And has transformed into delicious. Well done.
    The setting with the gold rim cups and candles is really lovely.
    Glad you are feeling better. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Another topping to try: saute some chopped shallots in a little olive oil, then mix with lemon juice and capers. It would give it just a little tang and zip.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thick hearty soups are a favourite in the Reid household. I like the suggestion of the bacon and cheese on top.
    Nancy R
    jw.nl.reid@sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  25. The soup sounds lovely. I might try cooking it with a couple of slices of fresh ginger but removing before puree. Then top the servings with a small spoon of sour cream to melt into froth and sprinkle finely slivered ginger which has been deep fried. The latter is surprisingly mild in flavor and adds a bit of crunch.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The soup sounds lovely. I might try cooking it with a couple of slices of fresh ginger but removing before puree. Then top the servings with a small spoon of sour cream to melt into froth and sprinkle finely slivered ginger which has been deep fried. The latter is surprisingly mild in flavor and adds a bit of crunch.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think that this sounds lovely and I shall make it and serve it with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg, I think. Thank you so much for this soup!!!

    ReplyDelete