As the summer begins to wind down and the number of cool evenings increases, so increases a desire to make simple fare for dinner. Here is a recipe for a cream of cauliflower soup using cauliflower florets, chicken broth and Madeira wine, and richly flavored with such seasonings as bay leaf, dried sage, and dry mustard. White pepper is added to give flavor but also to avoid speckling of the black pepper in the soup. It is monochromatically colored with bits of brown nutmeg making it a uniform fall and cream-colored soup.
Low fat 2% milk is used in the recipe, but skim milk or vegetable stock could be substituted if weight loss is desired. Just be sure to heat up the liquid prior to adding into the roux to avoid lumping. This recipe serves about 6 depending on serving size.
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, separated into florets, see note
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup Madeira wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth, about 14-1/2 oz each
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter or trans fat free butter substitute
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups low fat milk, heated until warmed
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp dry mustard
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- Pinch dried sage
- Pinch nutmeg, plus more for garnish if desired
- In a 5-quart sauce pot, mix the cauliflower, celery, onions, Madeira wine, bay leaf and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Let the vegetables simmer, covered, until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and spoon about half the cooked vegetables into a blender. Carefully pour in half the liquid. Cover the blender but allow steam to vent from the top. Begin on low and increase speed and puree the mixture until of desired consistency. Pour into a bowl or large measuring jug, and repeat with remaining cooked vegetables and pot liquid. Reserve.
- Rinse out the pot and dry well. Place back on burner and increase heat to medium to medium-high. Add in the canola oil and butter. Melt the butter, then add in the flour stirring well to avoid lumping. Stir and cook for about a minute. Add in the warmed milk and stir or whisk until smooth. Add in the salt, dry mustard, white pepper, sage and nutmeg. Stir until smooth.
- Pour in the reserved cauliflower puree and stir well. Bring the mixture up to a low boil, stirring frequently, then serve immediately.
- Sprinkle the top of the filled soup bowls with a little bit of ground nutmeg if desired.
Notes and Variations:
- If fresh cauliflower isn’t available, use 1 lb. of frozen cauliflower florets.
- Substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock if desired.