Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower, Tomato & Fennel Soup

I'm roasting! I wish! After a week of warm, sunny days we’ve been having around here, the skies are now gloomy and overcast,hail with rain and downright chilly. It’s hard to believe May Day is just a few short days away! I’m keeping my fingers crossed the weather will improve by then, May Day is also our opening day for my Kennebunk farmers market and I’ve been wrapping soaps all week for the grand opening.

It’s still very cold today and after buttoning up many of my sprouting veggies in the garden with the threat of another freaky frost I was craving something warm and comforting. Since there wasn’t much in the frig but a lone head of cauliflower and some fennel, and remarkably enough I found two bags of last seasons roasted tomatoes in the freezer, I settled on some roasted cauliflower soup and cornbread.

Roasted Cauliflower, Roma’s and Fennel Soup

1 head cauliflower
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fennel, sliced thin
about 6-7 roasted tomatoes- I used roma’s
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup light cream
zest of one lemon
thyme, savory and parsley
sea salt
ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the cauliflower then cut into flowerets.
In a large bowl toss cauliflower and sliced fennel with enough olive oil to lightly coat all the pieces then spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and season with herb blend.
Place cauliflower in the oven and roast, turning pieces occasionally until almost tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove cauliflower pieces and set aside to cool. There will be some olive oil left on the baking sheet. Pour the leftover oil into a soup pot. Add the fennel slices, mushrooms and minced garlic and saute over medium heat until just golden. Add cauliflower, roasted tomatoes and vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Then, turn heat down and simmer for ten minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
Remove pot from heat and let cool slightly. Scoop out four ladles and puree the soup until nearly smooth. I like to leave some of the cauliflower unprocessed, so I just used an immersion blender, but you can choose to puree it all, and then pour it back into the pot. On low heat gently reheat soup, then add one quarter cup of light cream, zest of one lemon, herbs, sea salt and lots of ground pepper to taste. If you find the soup too thick, add a little bit more of vegetable broth or even water to your liking. Stay warm. Enjoy!

Fennel Cornbread
Adapted from Ocean Mist Farms

The fennel and shallots adds flavor and moisture to traditional cornbread and was so tasty served with the roasted cauliflower and fennel soup.

1 egg, beaten
1/2 fennel bulb, grated
2 shallots, minced
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup wildflower honey
1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
2 cups plain cornmeal
a handful of fresh chopped chives
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
cooking spray

Directions Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray 9 inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray and place skillet in hot oven to heat up.

In large bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing until well combined. Spoon batter into greased hot skillet and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until corn bread is golden brown. Slice the cornbread warm right out of the pan and serve.

I won't be around for a few days, and though these daffodils are now shivering in the rain I'd like to wish everyone a Happy May Day and pray the sun shines on all of you. Happy Spring!


M.Kate said...

I came from Pat's blog. I havent tried this before but I definitely wont mind it at all..looks too yummy :)

Karen said...

I thought our soup days were over, too, but no such luck! Isn't it nice to see things starting to get green and growing in the garden! said...

aside from a few set-backs with weather, we've had it pretty good so far though (knock on wood)

Lady Amalthea said...

What a lovely idea to add cauliflower! I'll have to try it. I love a good creamy soup as well--in any season!