Super-Sexy Cauliflower and New Potato Soup with Saffron

It is possible that you are thinking to yourself, “cauliflower cannot be sexy–ever.”  It is one of the most underappreciated and sometimes maligned creatures of the vegetable world, usually steamed and placed in bland whiteness next to a pork chop or an equally-pale chicken breast.  I am here to tell you that cauliflower can be totally sexy.  Just try this soup, and you will never go back:

It is honestly one of the most delicious soups, ever–creamy, earthy, and really quite sexy.  You need to make it and see for yourself.

I was inspired by a couple of things from the CSA–first, a bunch of tiny red potatoes, and, of course, some fresh cauliflower:

I scrubbed up the potatoes and boiled them, and set aside about three cups for the soup.  I started by sauteing some sliced shallots (onion would be fine) in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft:

To that I added all of my cauliflower (about five cups, equivalent to one large head), which I had rinsed and divided into florets, along with the three cups of potatoes, a teaspoon of sea salt, and water to cover:

Bring that to a low boil then cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender.  This took about 20 minutes.  From there I added in the magic ingredient, saffron:

Saffron is one thing I always have on hand, because just a pinch of the strands can transform a dish into something beautiful.  It is expensive, yes, but I believe in buying pure, non-powdered strands for maximum color and flavor.  There really is no substitute, and it is such a gorgeous ingredient:

With the soup off the heat, I put in a generous pinch of the threads, along with a half cup of shredded asiago cheese and a third cup of mascarpone cheese for silky texture and a rich finish.  The mascarpone is optional, but leaving it out will downgrade your soup from super-sexy to Miss Congeniality.  Still great, but not as thrilling.  An equal amount of heavy cream would be a good substitute.

I then used our immersion blender–which I consider one of the best inventions, ever–to puree the soup.  You can also do this in batches in a blender and get the same result (just be careful either way, as hot, flying soup is really unpleasant, and I speak from experience).

Taste and adjust your salt at this point, and then get ready to dish it up.  Serve sprinkled with some chopped fresh parsley or chives, croutons, or a swirl of chive oil:

You and cauliflower will never be “just good friends” again, trust me.

Vegan Option:  Substitute a third cup of nutritional yeast for the asiago cheese and substitute vegan cream cheese for the mascarpone.

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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8 Responses to Super-Sexy Cauliflower and New Potato Soup with Saffron

  1. Yenta Mary October 22, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    Luscious and luxurious … a "must try"!!!

  2. Karen October 22, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    Yum! This looks spectacular. I think this could be a dish that would actually get my family to eat cauliflower! Creamy pureed soups are my favorite!

  3. Angela FRS October 22, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    Karen, it just might work–the potato and saffron flavor might fool them. Let me know if you try it!

  4. Eric October 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    YUM! Potatoes and shallots from mom and dad's garden, check, cauliflower, check, I think this might be dinner tonight!

  5. BetsyD April 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Yum! I'm now hoping there'll be cauliflower at the farmer's market soon. I like it roasted, too.

  6. Orly April 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Oh wow. I'm going to make this for sure. You know I like cauliflower already…

  7. Betsy June 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    I made this tonight, finally! I think I may have boiled the cauliflower in too much water, because I had to add some mascarpone and asiago to the soup. Or possibly I’m a dairy glutton. 🙂 It was delicious!

    • Angela June 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

      I fully support dairy gluttony–especially of mascarpone.

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