chicken leek

When the CAS gives you leeks....make this recipe from Epicurious. Actually, this was a dish that Michael and I made when we were first dating and when neither of us could cook. For some reason, I brought over this recipe to his little Havemeyer Street apartment and we made it together -- a major project. This time, I whipped it up pretty fast while the boys were on their way back from Boston. It's so simple, I thought it would be dull but it wasn't. I added my garlic herb salt and subbed sour cream for cream. It was rich and hearty and just right for a Sunday night dinner. 

book group cauliflower soup

The soup I made for Turducken was amazing but too rich for every day consumption. So since then I've been fiddling with a lighter version that is easy and healthy. I made it for my family recently and my mom then made it and wrote it down for her book group lunch. It was a hit with the ladies. 

  • 2 medium heads of cauliflower
  • 1-2 quarts of stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2 leeks chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salt  and pepper  (or onion salt and white pepper) to taste

1. Saute onions and leeks in a little safflower or olive oil until wilted but not brown.

2. Add cauliflower, stem and leaves removed, and cut into chunks. Stir into onion mixture.

3. Add enough stock to barely cover the vegetables and simmer over medium-low heat until cauliflower is very tender.

4. Let vegetable mixture cool slightly, then puree (in batches) in a blender until smooth. Add milk and cheese and blend until mixed. You may want to add more stock as you blend each batch, or when you're finished blending, depending on how thick you want the soup. 

5. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. 

6. Serve hot or cold!

cauliflower, the soup

My latest holiday cooking adventure was for the annual Turducken feast for which I made Thomas Keller's cauliflower soup. Dave liked it, thank god. It's a rich soup of leeks and cauliflower bathed in milk, broth and cream and a hint if Madras curry powder. I skipped the fried beet chips but added

Keller's buttery croutons and some pickled cauliflower-tiny florets soaked for two days in a mixture of white and rice wine vinegars, sugar and salt. I also made chive oil (by Vitamixing chives and canola oil then letting it sit overnight. In the morning I strained it with cheesecloth and put it in a squeeze bottle).

Since then I have been somewhat obsessed with cauliflower soup, making it in different ways--less cream and milk than Kellers, plus balanced by acid. But I like the leeks...keeping the leeks.