Cauliflower Soup with Truffle, Lemon & Thyme

People either like or dislike (hate or love) this brother of broccoli. I’ve always viewed cauliflower as a versatile vegetable that can take on many different flavors and forms. Roasted you have the sweet, rustic nuttiness that comes from carmelization. Or in this case, with a soup, you have an elegant, earthy dish, courtesy of the truffle, with a brightness from the lemon. I’ve made this recipe for parties, events and cooking competitions (Guys Can Cook 2014 being the latest). It’s easy to make and surprisingly good for something so simple. A few keys- use fresh garlic and thyme (nothing dried or in a jar). And add the flavor elements at the end. If you add them early on in the process, they dull over time. Enjoy and go wow some people with cauliflower.

The Goods:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 3 garlic clove, sliced
  • 3 3/4 cups (1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces cauliflower (from 1 large head)
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1  cups whipping cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2-3 tablespoons truffle oil
  • 1 large lemon for zesting
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper

The Steps:

  1. Heat oil or butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add broth, cream, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme and the bay leaf. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer gently until cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes. Puree soup in small batches in blender or with immersion blender until smooth.
  3. Return to same saucepan. Season soup with kosher salt and white pepper.
  4. Add the fresh thyme, truffle oil and zest from a lemon right before serving. For added color, a chive lemon oil provides a nice contracts.

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