Soup, edited by Michael Fullalove, published by Dorling Kindersley. Simply named, beautifully designed. It’s a book that you can sit down and read like a novel. One that will garner appreciation from the novice cook to accomplished chefs alike.It is detailed yet easy to follow and illustrated with inspiring photographs that will get you off the couch and delving into your fridge or pantry to see what kinds of deliciousness you can get simmering to cozy up your house right away. The section on rescuing was particularly exciting for me. Let’s say your soup is lumpy or over salted (not that *I’ve* ever made such rookie mistakes) Soup includes remedies from lauded chefs from around the world. The book is also a purchase you can feel good about, as Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation and Chew on This, explains in the forward; the proceeds of the book go to the Soil Association.
The Soil Association was founded in the 1940’s by Lady Eve Balfour and Sir Albert Howard in response to the popularization of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. They had the foresight to see the interconnectedness of the soil, the land and how it is treated and how it affects every aspect of our health and well being. Schlosser goes on to explain that all of the amazing chefs have donated their favorite soup recipes to benefit the Soil Association. From Alice Waters of Chez Panisse to Raymond Blanc, Chef Patron of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Oxfordshire, the book is chock full of Michelin starred and James Beard Awarded chefs giving up their favorite soup recipes for a cause.
While I earmarked as many as six soups to sample, I chose Cauliflower Soup with Toasted Coriander as my test recipe in an attempt to satisfy my Cauliflower addiction. The African Sweet Potato Soup and Rosemary’s Bean soup with Italian Cheese Crisps will have to wait until another day. It looks as though I will have to begin to buy yet another head of cauliflower a week so that I can indulge myself with this simple, yet amazingly rich and velvety soup.
I was afraid of the large amount of coriander, fearing it would be too flowery but that is definitely not the case. Freshly ground pepper is a must, it really brings out the nuttiness in the cauliflower and balances the coriander. I left out the milk and half-and-half altogether and found the soup to be silky, rich, and satisfying without it.
Cauliflower Soup with Toasted Coriander
|Meal type||Bacon, Cauliflower, Coriander|
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 3 tbs unsalted butter
- 1 onion diced
- 1 potato diced
- 1 head cauliflower, finely chopped
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 slices of bacon
- ¾ cup of milk
- ½ cup of half-and-half
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
|1||Heat a sturdy frying pan and lightly roast the coriander seeds, stirring all the time, for about a minute. Grind the seeds to a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle and set aside.|
|2||Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and potato, cover, and leave to soften for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and ground coriander, season well, cover and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. |
|3||Pour in the stock, add the bay leaf, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the cauliflower has softened. Meanwhile, cook the bacon under the broiler until crisp, drain on paper towels, coarsely chop, and set aside.|
|4||Remove the bay leaf and blend the soup to a puree with an immersion blender. Stir in the milk and add the half-and-half. Reheat and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and scatter with the chopped bacon before serving. |