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It's Friday So It Must Be Soup! Jan 14 /11

Cauliflower Soup with Pecorino Romano and Truffle Oil

Once again, the veggies that I had neglected to eat earlier in the week chose my soup for me. I had two small heads of cauliflower that would stare forlornly at me every time I opened the fridge, begging to be turned into something delectable and worthwhile. They desperately wanted a purpose so, eventually, I had to give in.

After much searching around, I found a recipe that sounded perfect using my Epicurious app on my iphone, Cauliflower Soup with Pecorino Romano and Truffle Oil. I will tell you right off the bat, I had no intention of buying a bottle of truffle oil just to sprinkle on my soup but to my great surprise, I actually had a tiny bottle of it in my cupboard! Someone must have given some to me as a gift and I had forgotten all about it. Some foodie I am.

smoked bacon

So, I followed the recipe pretty closely (as closely as I am capable of anyway) . I left out the celery because I didn't have any and I pre-roasted the cauliflower and garlic cloves the night before for 25 minutes in a 425F oven because I really prefer the flavour of cauliflower after it has been roasted - same with the garlic. I am not sure it would have been as delicious if I had not so I recommend roasting them first.

Other than that, I followed the recipe and it is really, really delicious. It has some very assertive flavours going on and it is not what you would expect a cauliflower soup to be at all. It tastes strongly of the pecorino, which is great if you like the cheese. If you are not a big fan, you might want to leave it out or add less but it is perfect for me. I think it is absolutely fine without the truffle oil as well. Honestly, the soup is flavourful enough as is and I would not go out of my way to get truffle oil for it unless I happened to trip over a bottle of it in my own cupboard. It would be good with a crispy crouton like for french onion soup and its hearty enough to be a meal on it's own with a big chunk of bread and a salad.

From Epicurious:

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Bacon gives this soup added oomph and truffle oil makes it special.
2 ounces applewood-smoked bacon (about 2 1/2 slices), chopped
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 cups 1-inch pieces cauliflower (cut from 1 large head)
3 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 3/4-inch cube Pecorino Romano cheese plus additional cheese shavings for serving

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
White or black truffle oil (for drizzling)

Sauté bacon in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until golden brown and some fat renders. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Cover and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Add cauliflower, 3 1/2 cups broth, and cheese cube. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in processor. Return to same pan. Add cream and bring soup to simmer. Thin with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and chill. Rewarm before continuing.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese shavings; drizzle with truffle oil.

Bon Appétit, January 2007
Carolynn Angle
photo by: Pornchai Mittongtare

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