Creamy in texture and buttery in flavor, cauliflower soup makes an elegant beginning to a holiday feast. If you wish, garnish the soup with homemade croutons, which are simple to prepare: Toss small cubes of day-old bread with a little extra-virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake in a 300°F oven until golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped leeks, white portion only rinsed well
- 1 head cauliflower, outer leaves and stalks removed and florets separated into 1-inch pieces
- 3 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable stock, or canned broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp. finely ground toasted coriander seeds
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- 1 hard boiled egg
- herbs for garnish
In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring constantly, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the stock, cream, bay leaf and coriander, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
Using a stick blender, puree the soup directly in the pot until it is very smooth and creamy. Alternatively, using a food processor, puree the soup in batches. Press the soup through a chinois or other fine-mesh sieve set over a clean saucepan or soup pot. Season with salt and white pepper. Keep the soup warm over low heat until ready to serve.
Ladle the soup into warmed individual bowls, put hard boiled egg and garnish with a herbs. Serve immediately.