This is a personal favorite. I first started experimenting with roasted cauliflower soup about two years ago, with a recipe in the November 2005 Cooking Light. I liked it, but thought it was missing something, and doctoring it up with some grated Parmesan didn’t help much. Still, it was worth pursuing, so I kept tinkering until I ended up with something with a more complex flavor. The wine makes a big difference, but of course this time around I left it out; it didn’t stop me from eating up the leftovers for lunches before the weekend was out.
This is one of those soups that isn’t going to look good in photographs no matter how I try to gussy it up. I considered doing a creme fraiche swirl, but didn’t want to open up a new container just for a garnish. And I had many more Thanksgiving preparations to get on with at the time…so it looks how it looks, and tastes ever so much better.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
1 head cauliflower
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 C white wine
4 C chicken stock
1 C heavy cream or half-and-half
1 small potato, such as Yukon Gold
Preheat oven to 400F. Core the cauliflower and cut it into 1/4″ slices; toss with olive oil and season with salt and thyme. Arrange on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray or a silicone mat, and roast for 1 hour or until golden brown, stirring after 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and saute onion until soft. Add garlic and saute for 1 or 2 minutes more. Deglaze pan with wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add roasted cauliflower (reserving 1/2 C cauliflower pieces) and chicken stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the diced potato; let simmer until the potato is soft, about 20 minutes.
With an immersion blender, puree the soup and return to heat. Stir in reserved cauliflower and cream. Heat through, adjust seasonings and serve.