This recipe appealed to me for three reasons. One, it's soup, and, as I've stated before, I love soup. Two, I like an excuse to use cauliflower in a way that doesn't involve smothering it in cheese. Three, this was a comparatively short list of ingredients compared to some I've seen recently.
I didn't have to substitute much for this recipe. Part of the whole milk was substituted with skim milk since that's what we usually have on hand. The one thing that I was worried about was the pancetta. The article explains that this is "Italian bacon that is cured but not smoked." I have to admit I was a bit nervous about using regular bacon. But this turned out just fine, and the crumbled bacon was a nice garnish.
The taste of the soup was almost like a potato soup. It would be a very good low-carb substitute for potato soup for anyone watching their carbohydrate intake. The texture was a bit creamier, but overall, it was very tasty.
One thing I would suggest to anyone trying the recipe is instead of using sliced cauliflower for the garnish, simply saute some chopped cauliflower in butter for the same taste without the hassle of cutting and cooking slices. The taste is fantastic, so I wouldn't leave it out completely, though. If you do want to try the slices, I discovered that the smaller florets are a bit easier to slice and are usually prettier than the larger florets.
Recipe from Tea Time Magazine January/February 2012
Savory Cauliflower Soup
Yield: 6 cups (6 to 12 servings)
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cool: 30 minutes
6 slices deli pancetta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
Garnish: shaved cauliflower
- In a large saucepan, cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp, approximately 6 minutes. Remove from pan, and discard.
- Add olive oil and onion to pancetta drippings. Cook over medium heat until onion is tender, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add cauliflower. Cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add broth, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until cauliflower is tender, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool for 30 minutes.
- In the container of a blender, puree mixture in batches until smooth. Return puree to pan.
- Add half-and-half and milk. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through, but don't allow soup to boil. Serve warm.
- Garnish with shaved cauliflower, if desired.
- Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, thinly slice cauliflower florets. In a nonstick pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add cauliflower slices. Brown slices on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Use immediately.