Inspiration: Cauliflower really is a lovely and versatile vegetable. You can roast it, steam it, make it into a gratin, saute it, rice it, mash it……the possibilities are almost endless. Pureed into a soup, though – there’s something that we hadn’t tried!
What we Loved: This was a rich soup with a great, creamy texture. Really, it tasted almost identical to potato soup, which was completely unexpected. The spices – mainly sage and a touch of nutmeg – were subtle but added a nice depth, and Brandon just couldn’t get enough of the salty prosciutto on top. It truly did give the dish that finishing touch, as the saltiness complemented the creamy vegetable flavors so well. I would define this vegetable-packed soup as comfort food in a bowl, perfect for a chilly evening.
Helpful Hints: While the prosciutto is really a perfect pairing for this soup with its lovely saltiness, bacon or pancetta would also work. I think this would also be great with cubed ham and/or cheese added in.
Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Prosciutto
Source: Adapted from The Daily Soup Cookbook
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves
Handful fresh sage, chopped
2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tablespoon butter
4-6 slices prosciutto, cut into thin pieces
1. Cut off the white and light green part of the the leek. Cut this part in half vertically, then clean each half well under running water. Slice into 1/8 inch half moons.
2. Heat the oil in a pot. Add the leeks, and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes.
3. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and bay leaves, and stir to coat the leeks.
4. Add the sage, cauliflower, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is softened.
5. Remove from the heat. Remove the bay leaves, and puree completely with an immersion blender or food processor.
6. Mix in the half and half. Return to the low heat, allowing the soup to heat through.
7. Meanwhile, add a pat of butter to a saute pan. Add the prosciutto, and cook until crispy.
8. Season the soup with additional salt if necessary. Serve the soup topped with the prosciutto.