Delicious and Nutritious (Sort of…)

So it’s winter. How the hell did that happen? Seriously, the last thing I remember I was roasting on a back porch in North Carolina waiting for seven layer nacho dip to be ready. I hate winter. Josh is looking forward to the snow, and I’m sure I’ll have much more fun when I’ve got his enthusiasm to get me out of the house and out to some of the awesome Toronto winter fun there is to be had. It’s just that on my own I’d far rather stay in and complain.

One good thing that comes out of cold weather is that I’m less motivated to go outside and spend all my money on Thai food and sangrias. I’m more likely to stay inside and start cooking up some feel good soups that I can freeze and heat up again easily for my lazy, bitchy days.

Cauliflower is one of my favourite soups to make, because it’s easy to make it thick without adding potatoes (I do try to keep starch to a minimum). But it can get kind of bland, so I spruced up an impromptu recipe with a fun twist.

First I started with your basic Bechamel sauce.

bechamel-sauce-11

You start by melting a stick of butter (1/2 cup) in a large pot, and heating it until it browns slightly.

bechamel-sauce-2

When it’s bubbling, turn the heat low and whisk in a half cup of flour.

bechamel-sauce-31

Whisk away any lumps.

bechamel-sauce-5

Add one cup of milk.

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Continue whisking until evenly heated and blended. Allow to thicken but not curdle. Remove from heat if necessary.

bechamel-sauce-6

And thus you have your basic white sauce, your base for most thick soups or sauces. From this point you can pretty much wing it and have fun with different variations of what you like. I often throw in whatever is in my fridge. What I had this time was cauliflower, onions, celery and garlic.

cauliflower-pesto-soup-1

Onions are a great way to thicken up a soup without adding a ton of flour or starchy potatoes. If you don’t want too strong an onion flavour, add them thinly sliced right at the beginning. For a more prominent flavour, add them later in the recipe or try sauteeing them first, depending on what kind of texture you’re going for. Personally I like my soups thick enough to lay bricks with, but that’s just me.

cauliflower-pesto-soup-2

I added one cup of water and four cups of vegetable stock for the broth. You can adjust this to your preferences. I also added two cubes of frozen basil, equivalent to about two teaspoons of chopped fresh basil.

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for about half an hour or until veggies are tender.

cauliflower-pesto-soup-3

Now this is where I have the electronic advantage, because this is the point where you’d ordinarily have to ladle the soup into a blender and whir it smooth bit by bit. I’m far too lazy for that, and so I have a hand held blender that I just plug in, turn on, and stir around until I’m happy with the result.

Kind of like this one, except not as pretty.

If you don’t have one of these, I highly recommend them. Who wants to wash a blender? Not me, I value my fingers greatly.

Anyways, if you’re anything like me, a delicious thick soup is simply not enough without a ton of cheese.

cauliflower-pesto-soup-4

 

cauliflower-pesto-soup-5

When all is nice and melted, spoon into your favourite cold-weather feel good bowl.

And now for my favourite soup twist as of late:

cauliflower-pesto-soup-62

Delicious, delicious pesto!!! Yay pesto! Stir a spoonfull into your soup, top with an extra bit of shredded cheese and voila!

cauliflower-pesto-soup-72

It is totally delicious and you have my permission to hit people who want you to ‘share’.

In other news, I am having better luck with my lace knitting. It’s fuzzy lace knitting, but still going well. Peep the begginings of a fuzzy winter stole.

weekender-stole-1

It will be much more exciting when it’s finished and blocked, but that’s how it looks for now.

As for right now, I think I’m going to start chipping away at the bottle of Southern Comfort that Talea got me for my birthday (among other, less alcoholic things). I’ll be back…at some point this week.

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16 Comments

  1. teeni said,

    November 24, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Well, that recipe looks awesome. I have to admit I’ve never made cauliflower soup, but I would like to try it. I know I love broccoli soup. And your knitting looks wonderful – what a pretty lace pattern! It’s always fun to see sneak peeks before we see the finished results! Did we miss your birthday? Happy late birthday just in case. I haven’t had Southern Comfort in ages. I love that stuff. It’s awesome in lemonade. Or just by itself. 😯

  2. Emerald said,

    November 24, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    @ Teeni: It are my birthday! Today! Good timing, thank you. You are the first blogger to wish me a happy birthday, aside from Talea and Josh who of course know me in 3D world too 😛

    Next week I’m posting a broccoli/asparagus soup recipe, maybe you’ll like that one extra!

  3. May said,

    November 24, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    So close to how I make mine – I don’t put milk in my cream soups though, I use a rue instead, and do butter + green onions + flour and whisk it together, then I add the stock and then the veggies. 🙂 Also, FYI, with a snazzy blender you can put it all in at once and as long as you wash it asap you don’t have to worry about your fingers. I swear, I luuurve my blender. Can’t wait to see the lace this weekend!

  4. Pure Evyl said,

    November 24, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    That soup looks crazy tastee. And Happy Birthday!!!

  5. kaylee2 said,

    November 24, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    happy birthday a day late but, still and ummm , I want to steal that recipe now you know what? I was thinking of kniitting some christmas gifts! would that be horrible? and making some ornaments!

  6. November 24, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Talea sent me. Happy Birthday Emerald. You also share your birthday with two of my family members. One on Bunny’s side and one on mine. 😉 Bundy? 😕 That was news to me. I how you are having a wonderful day so far, and continue to have a magnificent evening. Happy Birthday!!! Take care, stay safe, and enjoy. 😀

  7. Emerald said,

    November 24, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    @ May: Thank you for my birthday bash! And yes, I do enjoy putting copious amounts of milk in my soups. I figure as long as I don’t use tons of potatos I can get away with it. Sometimes I’ll thicken it with some unflavoured yogurt or even some sour cream if I’m feeling extra naughty 😉

    @ PureEvyl: It is very tasty. And thank you!

    @ Kaylee: You’re not late, today is the day! Thank you!

    @ Peter: Good ole’ Talea. I’m having a very hectic day, but I’m sure it will be wonderful once I get home to my telly and my boozamahols. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  8. kaylee2 said,

    November 24, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Oh, for some reason I thought it was tuesday in canada 😯 I am not good with timezones 😯

  9. kaylee2 said,

    November 24, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    SOUTHERN COMFORT?

  10. QueenBitch said,

    November 24, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🙂 I SHOLD HAVE CLICKED YESTERDAY BUT I DIDNT SO ITS TUESDAY HERE EVEN THOUGH ITS STILL MONDAY FOR YOU…. I THINK… SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY.. HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY AND YOU GET SPOILED WITH LOTS OF PREZZIES.

    LOVE N HUGS
    YOUR QUEEN.

  11. 2lazydogs said,

    November 25, 2008 at 12:19 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    That soup sounds fantastic…I’ve never thought about using cauliflower. Mmmmm.

    Pretty, pretty lace knitting.

    Hey, have a sippy sip of that SoCo for me, k?

  12. romi41 said,

    November 25, 2008 at 2:19 am

    Happy Birthday again! 🙂 And DAMN that soup would be so amazing right now….LOVE the stirred-in cheese action 😉

  13. Emerald said,

    November 25, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    @ Kaylee: Well, wordpress also does something screwy with the times. For example, this post shows up as Nov 24, but I actually wrote it late Nov 23, so I can see how it can be confusing. And Southern Comfort, yes, tis a very dilicious boozamahols.

    @ Queenie: Thanks, thats like double birthday wishes! I received some lovely prezzies from my friends this past weekend, and will hopefully receive some monies from the fam this weekend. I asked them for no gifts, only money to help me move. Talea was smart – she got me a dvd (very easily thrown in a suitcase), a gift certificate and booze! All consumables! And consume, I did and will continue to do.

    @ 2LD: Thanks, and yes cauliflower soup is rad. Josh doesn’t like soup much in general, so I don’t have to share 😀 And I’m glad the knitting is turning out pretty so far, wish me luck! I had to rip it out like four times before I could even get through the first round :S

    @ Romi: Thanks again. And dude, I cannot make a soup without stirring in at least a cup or two of cheese. Hard to the cheese core, yo. Or not, cause hard cheese is gross.

  14. David said,

    November 26, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Happy birthday Emerald. This was one of your most delicious posts EVER! Your photography is really great! 🙂 A friend of mine from Montreal tells me her mom uses chamomile tea as the stock for her cauliflower soup recipe. I gotta try that. I like the ton of cheese though.

    And yeah, how the fuck did it get to be WINTER?!?!

  15. Emerald said,

    November 26, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    @ David: Chamomile tea! Tea in general, what a great idea! Oh I must try my hand at this. Thanks! 😀

  16. duffboy said,

    November 28, 2008 at 4:27 am

    This was the wrong post to read while I’m hungry as hell. Happy belated birthday Em! Hope you get wiser and full of wise cracks 😉


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