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.
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.