Making cauliflower soup always reminds me of my mother. She makes a classic cauliflower soup, thickened with flour and milk. Thick, hand-mashed, with some small cooked florets of cauliflower kept aside for serving, with cracked black pepper on top. Just delicious. Now that the weather is changing and Rome is down to a balmy 25C midday, soup seemed the right choice. I really fancied some autumn food, and though the market still has peaches and melons, there is more pumpkin appearing, along with some lovely funghi porcini. We had the porcini roasted with zucchini, onions and eggplant last weekend after our Appia Antica walk last weekend, just delicious.
I had seen Roasted Garlic & Cauliflower Soup at Spirited Explorer recently, and thought that looked like it might be fun to try. I omitted the mirin and thyme from that recipe, added more roast garlic and served the final soup with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Very tasty, and garlicky enough to scare off the remaining mosquitos.
Roast cauliflower and garlic soup
One head cauliflower
One head garlic
Two tbs olive oil
One white onion
Handful of fresh parsley
One litre vegetable stock
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
For serving: small splash of balsamic vinegar
Following procedure from Spirited Explorer: Heat the oven to 180C. Place chopped cauliflower in baking dish and drizzle with 1 tbs of olive oil, toss. Cut off top of garlic head, rub it with oil, wrap in foil. Roast both for 45 min or so, or until soft, tossing cauliflower occasionally. You’ll see the cauliflower develop some nice golden spots. When done, the garlic cloves will be easy to squeeze out.
In a pot, sauté onion in 1 tbs olive oil for a few minutes. Add garlic, cauliflower, salt and stock. Add salt, pepper and coarsely chopped parsley. Boil for 5-10 minutes, and blend with a hand blender. It’s relatively thick, despite not having flour added. Taste, add more seasoning if needed. If you like balsamic vinegar, add a small splash in each bowl when serving.
Notes: I was not sure about how the balsamic vinegar would work, but it was nice, it gave the soup a different edge. A couple of friends left Rome and gave me their kitchen remnants (much appreciated), which included balsamic vinegar. So now we have a multitude of open balsamic vinegar variations, and need to find ways to use them. Any suggestions?