Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Soup with Parmesan Crisps

Pretty much the only thing I like about the weather getting colder is that means it's soup time! Well, ok I also enjoy cozy sweaters, tea, and boots (sexy boots, not mukluks). I think I've mentioned before that Tyler doesn't like soup. Fortunately, I now have a soup ally. Parker asked to have this soup instead of macaroni and cheese last week. Score one for the good guys.

The first time I made this soup I loosely followed a recipe from Closet Cooking. I meant to follow it exactly, but I kept getting distracted. Among other mistakes I made, I forgot to add milk to the soup and thinned it out with water instead. It wasn't until we had finished dinner that I realized I had forgotten a pretty major ingredient. As it turns out, the cauliflower is creamy enough without having to add dairy. I have posted a cauliflower soup previously, but this one is better, if I do say so myself.

I put this soup on double duty the second time I made it. To half of the soup I added some goat cheese and shredded cheddar cheese after blending it and used that as a healthy base for macaroni and cheese. I know. I am a frickin' genius.

One Year Ago: Nada
Two Years Ago: Fried Udon Noodles 
Three Years Ago: Fresh Pea Pesto Pasta (ie Labour Pasta)
Four Years Ago (yes! My blog-iversary passed on Oct 17. Four years!): Caldo Verde Soup 

Serves 4-6
I always try to have some homemade chicken stock in the freezer, especially during soup season. If you don't have homemade, I have found Campbell's Stock First is a good store-bought alternative.
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss cauliflower with a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet along with garlic (no need to peel it). Roast on middle rack of oven until browned on one side, 10-15 minutes. Stir cauliflower to put browned side up and return pan to oven for another 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven but keep oven on. Peel garlic.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add butter and onions, season with salt and pepper. Cook onions, stirring often, and adding a splash of water when onions start to get too brown to deglaze the pan and stop them from burning (this is a quick caramelizing method. You can use a slow method of your choice if you'd like. I'm just not that patient). Once onions are very soft and deeply browned, add stock, thyme, and roasted cauliflower. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, until cauliflower is very tender.

Carefully ladle half of the pot into a blender and blend until smooth, adding water to thin to desired consistency. Repeat with other half of cauliflower mixture. Alternatively use an immersion blender to blend right in the pot. Return soup to pot and add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, stirring until melted (if your soup isn't piping hot reheat before adding the cheese).

For cheese crisps, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make small piles of Parmesan cheese and pat down flat. Bake until melted and golden brown. Watch closely- they will burn quickly. Remove pan from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, October 4, 2013

This Week's Menu

Every time I see a commercial for dishwasher soap where the woman takes dishes out of the dishwasher, holds them up, and gives a satisfactory nod before putting the glass away, I think, "How ridiculous, nobody does that." I totally did that today. I started using a different dishwasher soap and I kept looking at my glasses and utensils and thinking how sparkly they looked. Who is this person!? If I start talking about buying a minivan just shoot me.

Monday: Hoisin Glazed Salmon with Indian-Spiced Lentil Mango Salad I already posted this recipe I was so stoked about it.

Tuesday: Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas Tyler made these while I worked late Tuesday. Easy recipe, but I wasn't a fun of soggy tortillas.

Wednesday: Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo Sauce  (photo above) I have made this dish twice now. It is fantastic and easy. We had Tyler's cousin over for dinner on Wednesday. He lives by himself and seems to survive on beer. I invite him over once in a while to get some vegetables into him. Oh, and we do enjoy his company too. This recipe is now in regular rotation in our house. You can roast peppers under your oven broiler or on the barbeque. I swap milk for cream in the recipe.

Thursday: Grilled Cheese with Roasted Tomato Soup I loosely followed this soup recipe. Usually I use a recipe from America's Test Kitchen for Creamy Creamless Tomoato Soup. Both recipes are good.

Friday:  Pasta with Slow Cooker Eggplant Tomato Sauce. Very easy to throw everything into the slow cooker, I did this in the 10 minutes I had before leaving for work today. Used white wine instead of red as this is what I had. Very good. The eggplant add chunky texture but picks up all the flavours of the sauce. If you use no-salt-added tomatoes add a teaspoon of kosher salt to the ingredients in the slow cooker.