Well, after all my talk about the warm, sunny days we’ve been having around here, the skies are now gloomy and overcast. It’s still not very cold but the dreary weather makes me crave something warm and comforting. And since my husband won’t be home for a while yet, I settled for some soup.
My original intention was to make the cream of artichoke soup featured on the Castroville Artichoke Festival Web site. I had a bunch of little artichokes in the fridge and I thought it would be an interesting way to use them since I had never tasted artichoke soup. But then I realized that I also had an entire head of cauliflower tucked away that I had been saving for soup.
Hmmmm. Guess what I did?
Of course I ended up throwing everything together and creating a completely different kind of soup.
I’ve been wanting to roast some cauliflower ever since I wrote about the roasted broccoli. And, after seeing a few creamy cauliflower soup recipes around, I was inspired to try a creamy roasted cauliflower soup. But when I read about the creamy artichoke soup, I couldn’t let go of that idea either. Yes, I have a thing for creamy soups and, well, creamy things in general. Here’s what I ended up doing:
I boiled my artichokes in water with some lemon juice, bay leaves and peppercorns thrown in.
Then I cut them in half and removed the hearts. Instructions for preparing artichokes can be found here.
In the meantime, the cauliflower had been roasting away in the oven.
It turns out that Roasted cauliflower and artichoke hearts taste pretty good all blended up together with a little cream, lemon zest and thyme (but really, what doesn’t taste good blended with cream, lemon zest and thyme?).
Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Artichoke Soup
1 head cauliflower
extra virgin olive oil
1 C. artichoke hearts (I cooked my own but you’re welcome to try canned)
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. vegetable stock (or substitute chicken broth or plain water)
1 C. light cream (or half and half, whole milk, or even heavy cream)
zest of one lemon
leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme, crushed
fresh ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash cauliflower then cut into flowerets.
3. In a large bowl toss cauliflower with enough olive oil to lightly coat all the pieces then spread them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
4. Place cauliflower in a preheated 425 degree oven and roast, turning pieces occasionally until almost tender (between 20-30 minutes)
5. Remove cauliflower pieces to a bowl with tongs; set aside. There should be some olive oil left on the baking sheet. Very carefully pour the leftover oil into a soup pot or dutch oven.
6. Add minced garlic to the oil in the pot and saute over medium heat until just golden.
7. Add cauliflower, artichoke hearts and vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat way down and simmer for a few minutes until cauliflower is fully tender (check with fork).
8. Remove pot from heat and let cool slightly. Puree the soup until smooth using a food processor, blender, or immersion blender. Return to pot.
9. Gently reheat soup then add one cup of light cream, zest of one lemon (not juice), crushed thyme, and lots of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Soup can be thinned with extra broth or water if desired. Remove from heat when soup is heated through again.