Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blue Kitchen's Roasted Cauliflower and Dill Soup

For the full story on how this lush and hearty soup came into being, check out Blue Kitchen's fascinating site at I made a few strategic adaptations to punch up the flavor: more garlic, with the tiniest little bit stirred in right before serving, twice as much dill, more pure chicken broth -- but essentially it's still Blue Kitchen's creamy Polish-inspired cauliflower soup, and it is absolutely fantastic.

1 head of cauliflower broken into florets, about 6 cups
3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced and then pounded into a paste
5 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup chopped fresh dill
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and toss to coat. Spread into a single layer in a large roasting pan [or onto a large baking sheet with a rim] and season with pepper. DON’T add salt at this point. Roast vegetables in the middle of the oven until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, for about 35 - 45 minutes. Remove from oven. The soup can be made a day ahead up to this point; cool vegetables slightly, then cover and refrigerate.

Peel and chop onion and garlic while the cauliflower mixture roasts. When it’s ready, heat a large, heavy pot or dutch oven over a medium flame. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onion until softened and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 95 percent of the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add cauliflower mixture to pot, along with broth and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low to let soup simmer for 20 minutes or so.

Toward the end of this time, carefully ladle out 3 cups of cauliflower and broth and purée it in a food processor or blender. Avoid puréeing any of the carrots with the cauliflower and broth. Return the purée to the soup pot and stir to blend. Remove from heat, stir in the fresh dill and the last little bit of the minced garlic and adjust for seasoning. Serve hot.

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