Saturday, July 22, 2017
Cauliflower and Fennel Soup
James M. Thresher for The Washington Post
REAL ENTERTAINING MAR 3, 2010
Pureed soups make convenient additions to movie-night or game-night buffets. Because they're smooth, they can be served in mugs and eaten without spoons.
This soup is made using the classic method for preparing a smooth vegetable soup: Vegetables are cooked in stock or broth, pureed and often enriched with cream. Heavy cream is the traditional choice, but to keep the soup low in calories and fat, use more stock or broth instead of cream, or substitute evaporated milk (nonfat, low-fat or regular).
Make Ahead: The soup can be made a day in advance and reheated, or made a week in advance and frozen. If you plan to freeze the soup, it's better to add the cream just before serving.
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (6 to 8 ounces, 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
8 medium cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 small fennel bulb (white part only), trimmed, cored and chopped (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 pound cauliflower florets, chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
Finely chopped chives or flat-leaf parsley (about 2 tablespoons; optional)
Heat the oil in a 5-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, fennel, thyme, salt and pepper, and decrease the heat to medium. Cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until they have softened but not browned.
Add the flour and curry powder; stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add the cauliflower and broth; increase the heat to high so the liquid comes to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low to maintain a low boil. Cook uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is very soft.
Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender. Remove the center knob in the lid and place a dish towel over the top so steam can escape. Return the pureed soup to the pot.)
Unless you plan to freeze the soup (see headnote), add the cream or evaporated milk; mix well. Taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Divide among individual mugs. Garnish with the chives or parsley, if desired. Serve warm.
From Real Entertaining columnist David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
Calories per serving: 177
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 15g 23%
Saturated Fat: 7g 35%
Cholesterol: 41mg 14%
Sodium: 469mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates: 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%