Cauliflower soup is a dish prepared by simmering cauliflower florets along with other vegetables in water over a period of time. The recipe is popular in France and other parts of Western Europe and many variations abound with potatoes, peas, carrots and mushrooms added to make the soup to make it more filling. Meat is seldom added, making it a nourishing and tasty alternative for the vegetarians. However, most of the gourmet versions make extensive use of cream and cheese which makes it unsuitable for the vegans.
Thickening agents in the form of flours or grains are often added to the soup as well. The Italian soup prepared by pureeing cauliflower florets is particularly popular and is a fixture in most homes of South Italy. Olive oil and parmesan cheese along with onions and ginger are used for cooking the soup, which is considered to be a winter food in the country.
The Crème Du Barry is a famous soup made by creaming cauliflower and was named after Madame Jeanne Becu Du Barry, the mistress of Louis XV who was beheaded during the French revolution. The soup is served as an entrée when the main course is light. The French are also equally adept at preparing a soup out of roasted cauliflowers.
The North American version usually contains meat in some form or the other. Creamed cauliflower soup is mixed with chicken broth and fed to toddlers in the Southern part of America.
Cauliflower Soup Recipe: Ingredients and Preparation Overview
Onions, garlic and butter, along with the required amount of cauliflower, cut into florets are the basic ingredients for preparing the soup. The onions and garlic are usually sautéed in butter before the cauliflower florets are added and the entire concoction is simmered over low heat for a few minutes until the florets become tender. The softened cauliflower is pureed and boiled along with milk once again before being served with a seasoning of salt and white pepper. Nutmeg, hazelnuts and cream are also added as garnish to provide a variation in taste.
Cauliflower Soup Recipe: Popular Variations
- Crème Du Barry- A soup that includes chicken stock and egg yolks which are added along with heavy cream after the dish has been removed from heat. It is served with hot croutons usually.
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup- This version is prepared with roasted cauliflowers, shallots and garlic and is frequently flavored with thyme.
- Italian Soup- The soup contains cauliflower stems along with the florets. It also uses cider vinegar and pecorino cheese. It is eaten with the crusty Italian bread, Bruschetta.
- Curried Soup- This spicy soup also contains white potatoes and is flavored with curry powder.
- Vegan Soup- The soup uses vegan margarine and soy cheese instead of dairy products and the flavors are enhanced by adding green onions and bay leaves.
White wines with a fruity aroma are considered to be ideal pairings with the cauliflower soup.
Spicy cauliflower soup recipe is included in “The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters