Cauliflower Soup with Porcini Mushrooms and Parmesan

I made this soup in an effort to move away from the typical pairing of cauliflower with cheddar cheese or heavy cream (even though those pairings are common for a reason - they are delicious).  I have my mom to thank for the addition of parmesan cheese;  I knew I wanted to pair cauliflower with mushrooms but I wasn't sure where the creamy element should come from.  As a lover of both soup and mushrooms, my mother was more than happy to give suggestions for additions and improvements to this creation.  And I'm glad she did, because the end result is unique and quite sensational.

Enjoy with a decent amount of bread to soak in the flavors, and make sure you use a big bowl to help yourself to a heaping portion! Thanks and I hope you are getting through the cold winter days as easily as possible.

Happy eating!

Cauliflower Soup w/ Porcini Mushrooms and Parmesan - makes 2 servings (can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days) 

Because this soup only calls for 1/2 a head of cauliflower, you might be stuck wondering what do to with the remaining half; please see the bottom of this recipe for several suggestions.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 small carrot, roughly chopped
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
8-10 ounces white mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2-head cauliflower, cut into small florets
Chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4-cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

1.  Bring a small pot of water to a boil; take off the heat, add the porcini mushrooms, and let them soak for about 30 minutes
2.  Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; add the onion and garlic and sautée until garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
3.  Add the carrot and sautée until just softened, about 5-7 minutes.
4.  Remove the porcini mushrooms from their liquid, drain them, and chop roughly.  Add them to the large pot along with the white mushrooms, the bay leaf, and the cauliflower.  Pour in enough chicken broth to just cover everything, about 3 cups.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, 35 minutes.
5.  Discard the bay leaf; working in batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor.
6.  Return to the stove and reheat gently on low.  Slowly stir in the parmesan; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Not sure what to do with the remaining cauliflower?  Why don't you try:

-Cauliflower in a Spicy Peanut Sauce

-Breaded Cauliflower (recipe/idea courtesy of Alon's mom, Hagit Mass): 

a.  Boil cauliflower for about 20 minutes or until tender
b.  Once cool enough to handle, shake in a plastic bag with breadcrumbs to coat.
c.  Cook a chopped onion in 1 tbsp oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add cauliflower and cook until evenly browned, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

-Boil cauliflower and eat it plain with some coarse sea salt

-Boil cauliflower and toss with your favorite cheese - blue cheese, gruyere, cheddar, parmesan.  Make sure to toss together in a bowl while cauliflower is still hot in order to melt cheese evenly.

Hope this helps!


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