Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Cauliflower Soup and Parmesan Crisps

It's turned into soup weather, so when I was browsing Dave Lieberman's recipes for the FNCCC and came across the Silky Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Crisps recipe, I decided it was a must make! I pretty much did the entire recipe as written, so I don't have much witty commentary to insert throughout.

Cauliflower Soup

Silky Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Crisps
Courtesy Dave Lieberman


For the Soup:
1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Crisps:
1 cup shredded Parmesan
Chopped chives, for garnish (I realized I didn't have any chives and didn't want to run to the store so I used green onions instead)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower, coarsely chop, and reserve. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small batches in a blender and return it to the pot. Add the Parmesan and stir until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, make the Parmesan crisps:

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the shredded cheese over the foil in 1 even thin layer. Bake about 10 minutes until golden brown and crisps. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Break sheet of crisp cheese into large pieces and garnish each soup bowl with a couple shards and a pinch of fresh chives.

The Verdict: Martijn said "I'm not sure if this soup was worth all of the effort you put into making it." You see, it wasn't bad at all, but it really wasn't anything remarkable either. The Parmesan Crisps were a bit of a disaster too. They stuck to the foil and didn't add that much to the soup. Since it already HAS Parmesan in it, I think you'd be better off just skipping the crisps and eating it with oyster or saltine crackers.

cheese "crisps"

All that being said, I think this would make a wonderful BASE for a soup. The texture was lovely and I think it would be really good if you added in some other goodies like potatoes, broccoli, ham or maybe even some clams.


Amy said...

Mmmm! I made clam chowder for dinner last night. I LOVE soups. especially because of the ease of most soups. The parmesean crisps look delicious, but if you call it a disaster, perhaps I will stay away from them. I am not a huge fan of cauliflower and so am always looking for ways to make it so I will like it more... maybe I just found one?

Sarah said...

It does kind of seem like an empty palette waiting to be added to. Ham and broccoli would be wonderful! My mom does some kind of thing like the crisps but she shreds the cheese directly into a skillet then puts a piece of garlic rubbed french bread on top of it when it melts - it's like a parm crisp on garlic bread. Very tasty. Probably about as easy. Thanks for cooking with FNCCC!

SnoWhite said...

that's what I've found with cauliflower soup -- a good base, but not too excellent on it's own. I was hoping the parm chips would have been tasty, do you think they'd be good on their own?

Wizardress said...

It looks good, but I'm with you on adding things to make it a lil better.

I would try parchment paper to make the crisps on, or in a skillet like someone else suggested.

How are you?

Anonymous said...

If you like gorgonzola cheese, I would recommend adding that to the soup, with a bit of creme fraiche. I use this recipe and absolutely love it; tons of flavor!

Susie said...

It seems like the jist of all of his recipes. They are good just not great.

Debbie said...

I am finding that I like a potato added into most soups to give a little heft. And I'd be sad if that much parmesan stuck!

Gina said...

Thanks for your honest assessment of this recipe..I was looking at doing this one.

Quasi Serendipita said...

Sounds like a good base, probably I'd add some ham. I've never attempted parmesan crisps - you are very brave! Visiting from SIT :)

Unknown Mami said...

Can I just tell you that Parmesan crisps are one of my favorite things on this planet?

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