Cauliflower Bisque (with buttered breadcrumbs) (adapted from Love Soup by Anna Thomas)
1 large white cauliflower
4 cups (1L) vegetable broth
1 lemon, plus more if needed
1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) sea salt, plus more to taste
2 medium carrots
2 medium stalks celery
1 large yellow onion
3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
2 oz. (60 g) fresh creamy goat cheese or cream cheese
garnish: Buttered Breadcrumbs (recipe at the bottom)
Trim the cauliflower, cut the florets in small pieces, and put them in a soup pot with 2 cups (500 ml) water and the vegetable broth.
Scrub the lemon and slice off a 1 inch (2.5 cm) strip of the zest, making sure you don’t have any of the white pith, as that turns bitter.
Juice the lemon.
Add 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the juice and the strip of zest to the pot, along with a teaspoon of sea salt.
Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Remove and discard the lemon zest.
Meanwhile, peel, trim, and chop the carrots, celery, and onion.
Heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil in a skillet and add the chopped vegetables, along with the garlic and half a teaspoon of sea salt.
Sauté the vegetables on a medium flame, stirring often, until they are soft and beginning to color, about 20 minutes.
Add the herbes de Provence and keep stirring over medium heat for a few minutes longer.
Add the sautéed vegetables to the cauliflower.
Cover the pot again and simmer another 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender. Remove from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly
Puree the soup to a creamy, silky consistency with an immersion blender.
Taste, and add salt or lemon juice if needed.
Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer, and add the cheese and the last tablespoon of olive oil, stirring gently as the cheese melts.
Sprinkle a heaping spoonful of buttered breadcrumbs over each serving of soup at the last minute, just as you are serving it.
1 cup coarse, soft breadcrumbs
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
I used two slices of old-ish bread, torn into cubes, and pulsed in a food processor. Anna Thomas says you can crumble any soft bread with your fingers…but I’m not buying it.
Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet, add the breadcrumbs, and stir over medium heat for several minutes.
As soon as the breadcrumbs begin to take on a toasty golden color, remove them from the heat.
Use them warm from the pan, or spread them in a thin layer on a plate or cookie sheet to cool.