Roasted hazelnut oil, available in gourmet stores and many supermarkets, lends a wonderful toasty character to this soup. Or try truffle oil instead. You also could serve smaller portions in demitasse cups as part of a cocktail buffet. You can make the soup ahead of time, through the pureeing step; refrigerate. Gently reheat on the stovetop, adding the hazelnut oil, salt, and pepper. Stir in a little extra broth, if necessary.
1 whole garlic head
12 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
4 cups fat-free milk
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 tablespoons roasted hazelnut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap in foil. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Add garlic to pan. Bake garlic and cauliflower at 425° for 35 minutes or until golden brown, turning cauliflower after 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Separate garlic cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; saute 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add milk, broth, and thyme sprigs; bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Discard thyme sprigs. Stir in reserved garlic pulp and cauliflower. Place half of milk mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining milk mixture. Stir in hazelnut oil, salt, and pepper. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 12 bowls; top each serving with 2 teaspoons parsley.
It's not pretty, but I like the soup and would make it again. I agree that truffle oil is a much better choice and it tasted great in the soup. I didn't mind that it wasn't completely smooth, though I will try cooking the cauliflower in the milk as suggested next time. I would definitely skip the fresh parsley, especially when using truffle oil. Parmesan would be a great addition.
Really liked this recipe & it is easy with a few tweaks. I also used walnut oil due to price - and it was quite tasty. I also skipped roasting whole clove of garlic and just added a tsp of minced, jarred garlic into the milk mixture just before adding the liquids to the pot of sauteed onions. I think a sprinkle of fresh, grated parm on top is great too! Can't beat 88 calories per cup either!
We roast cauliflower frequently and decided to try this soup - it was simple and very hearty. Used walnut oil instead of hazelnut due to price and the results were great - would be just as good without the added oil.
I wish I had read your reviews before making this. Intended to be first course to CL's Marinated Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragout. The disappointing soup's in the fridge, don't know how I'll doctor it.
This is a great soup, however, the cauliflower needs to cook in the milk and onion liquid for about 15 minutes before you blend it. That will make the soup really creamy and velvety. I use truffle oil instead of hazelnut and it seems to match better with the garlic cauliflower flavors.
I had high hopes for this recipe. I love roasted cauliflower but this soup was pretty bland. The hazelnut oil was nice added at the end but it really lacked the flavor I thought it would have. It was a quick recipe but I don't think I would make it again. The cauliflower got pretty brown while roasting and this didn't help add much to the look of the soup. I followed the recipe exactly so maybe some adjustments would help.
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