Thursday, October 8, 2009

Soup weather

It's hitting that point in Portland where it's getting dark earlier, there's more of a chill in the air, and you wanna stay in bed and snuggle just a little bit longer in the morning. To me, this means soup time. A nice comforting bowl of soup can warm me up quicker than our heater can, and costs less too! I was reading this post and I knew I just had to make it. With some revisions of course! I had some cauliflower to use up, so I decided to roast it, and ladle the soup over the top instead of using the crusty bread (although it looks amazing, I just didn't have any).

I took Heidi's adaptation of Richard Olney's recipe and varied it a little, because I just can't seem to make a recipe exactly as it's written. It's a real problem of mine.
1 quart (4 cups) broth - do yourself a favor MAKE YOUR OWN! I'll do a post on this soon, as it's almost broth making time. You can also use plain water if you want, but I love how broth adds a depth of flavor that cannot be faked.
1 bay leaf
3 sage leaves
2 springs thyme- left whole
10 medium to large cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2Tsp salt - I used less because I season my broth when I make it. If using store bought broth, use even less! Basically start with a little bit, and add it to taste.

Binding pommade:
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks - Don't hate me, I'm making a sweet recipe with the leftover whites in the next couple of days to use these up! You'll need to pick up a tube of almond PASTE, not marzipan.
1C loosely packed, freshly grated Parmesan cheese - I use a microplane, it makes it fluffy.
freshly ground black pepper - 5 or 6 twists
1/4 cup olive oil

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium pot with garlic, bay leaf, sage, thyme, and salt. Heat to a boil and turn down to a simmer for 40 minutes. Pick out bay, sage, and thyme springs return the broth and garlic back to the saucepan, turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Taste and add more salt if needed. By hand, whisk the egg, egg yolks, cheese, and pepper together in a bowl until creamy. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, constantly whisking, then slowly add a large ladleful of the broth, to temper the eggs. Stir the yolk mixture into the broth and whisk it continuously over low-medium heat until it thickens slightly. Let it go until it's about the consistency of cream. Take it off the heat and give it another whir with the immersion blender. Break up the roasted cauliflower, and add to the bottom of each bowl, ladling the soup over the top. I finished mine with some smoked paprika, because I'm officially obsessed with it, but you could use a bit more Parmesan, or just eat it as is.

Makes about 4 cups of soup.
                                                                If you're interested, I roasted two small heads of cauliflower at 400 degrees for the 40mn the broth boiled. I rubbed it with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I like my cauliflower to still have a bit of bite, so if you like it soft n' mushy, just keep it in the oven the whole time while you're finishing up the soup.
This soup is creamy and filing without feeling heavy like some cream based soups. I definitely want to use this method to thicken more soups in the future!


  1. I was working in a small cafe with a cook who was afraid to make soup. To show him how easy it actually is, one day during lunch -while waiting tables- I grabbed:

    One half-head of red cabbage
    One large yellow onion
    (some) Rosemary
    white whine
    olive oil
    soy sauce

    Chopped the onion down, added rosemary,
    sauteed it until opaque in the oil of olives,
    added the chopped half of cabbage head, dumped on enough wine to cover it, boiled it down,
    at which point I added water and soy sauce.

    The result? A purplish wonder, a beet-less borscht ifyouwill that I like to call Portland Winter Night Sky Soup.

    Damn, do I love making soup.

  2. mmmm....I need to go buy some cabbage asap. Sounds so good and easy! There will be more soup soon. There's a lentil one that I made for the first time like 6 months ago that changed me.