Cream of Cauliflower Soup

When we were in Amboise last year we had a very nice amuse bouche – a small pot of a creamy, delicious, ice cold mixture.  When I asked what it was, I was told that it was a bechamel of cauliflower.  Very, very simple.  The ingredients are simply a very light bechamel, cauliflower and the added small hint of onion. Of course, salt & pepper.  When I researched the recipe, some sources suggested sprinkling the soup with curry powder.  Garam masala, perhaps? The soup works well either hot – very warm, don’t let it boil or the milk will curdle – or as in that restaurant in the Loire Valley, ice cold.  Makes a nice “soup and sandwich”  lunch.

Ingredients

  1. 1 cauliflower head
  2. 1/4 cup chopped onion
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 4 cups milk
  5. ¼ cup butter
  6. ¼ cup flour
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  9. 1 cup water
  1. Fill a large saucepan with water to boil.
  2. Meanwhile, wash cauliflower and cut it into florets.
  3. When the water boils, add salt, cauliflower florets and the chopped onion. Lower heat to medium.
  4. While the cauliflower cooks, heat the 4 cups of milk in the microwave, about 3 minutes, just warm.
  5. Cook the cauliflower for about 10-12 minutes, until very tender.
  6. Drain. Reserve the cauliflower florets.
  7. Using the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, add the flour and stir to blend.
  8. Slowly add the milk in a steady stream and stir to blend.
  9. Add the salt & pepper.
  10. Cook the butter/flour/milk mixture until it begins to bubble.
  11. Add drained cauliflower/onions and remove from heat.
  12. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until there are no cauliflower bumps.
  13. Add the extra cup of water, stir to blend.

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