Monday, December 15, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup with Chile

This soup is perfect for cold winter nights.  Roasting the cauliflower and garlic sweetens the vegetables. You get a bit of heat from New Mexican red chile powder and spices.  Creamy coconut milk balances everything out.  Be sure to serve with delicious bread or rolls to dip in the bowls of soup.

I plan to serve this soup as part of Christmas Day dinner this year. I think it will be wonderful served alongside Prime Rib, Honey-Glazed Roasted Carrots with Cayenne Pepper Spiced Winter Squash Muffins, green salad with a cheese plate and assorted cookies for dessert.  Merry Christmas Everyone!

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup with Chile
1 large head cauliflower
extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 white onion, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tbsp New Mexican Red Chile Powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 baking potato, unpeeled and diced
1 qt plus 4 oz vegetable stock
3/4 cup coconut milk, unsweetened**
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare the cauliflower by first washing and removing leaves. (Chop leaves and save for later in the recipe). Cut off the stem and then cut cauliflower in half lengthwise and then again into quarters. Place one of the cut sides down on a cutting board and...with the knife at an angle...cut off stem. Repeat with remaining three pieces. Break cauliflower into bite sized florets. Chop half of florets into small pieces.

Place prepared cauliflower florets (not chopped ones) on a rimmed parchment lined baking sheet. Run 4 passes of olive oil bottle over pan and, using your hands, roll cauliflower in oil ensuring everything is evenly coated. Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add garlic and another 2 passes of e.v.o.o. stir and sprinkle large pinch each salt and peppers over vegetables. Return to pan and roast for another 10 minutes. Keep roasting until the cauliflower is beginning to brown and caramelize.  Remove from oven.

Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a large pot and gently heat.  Add onion, jalapeno and reserved cauliflower greens and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft. ( about 6 minutes).  Add chile powder and cayenne pepper, stir and cook for an additional minute.  Add potato, chopped cauliflower and 1 quart of vegetable stock.  Increase heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce heat back to medium and simmer for 25 minutes. (Vegetables should be very soft. If not continue simmering for an additional 5-10 minutes.).  Add in the roasted cauliflower, stir and heat for an additional minute.

Using a stick blender***, puree the soup until well mixed and fairly smooth.  (Note, this soup has texture from the potato peel and greens which I like.  If you want a very smooth soup, pass through a strainer or food mill).  Add the coconut milk, small pinch of salt and one of pepper and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add additional vegetable broth if too thick.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Serve in large bowls, each drizzled with a bit of olive oil, a pinch more of the red chile powder and a sprinkling of cilantro. 

** Use the coconut milk in cartons in the dairy section...not the canned version
*** If you don't have a stick blender you can use a regular blender.  Do this in two batches and be very careful...soup is HOT.  

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