Thursday, January 21, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Bisque

As long as I live, I will never understand those of you who like winter and all it's friends like snow, ice and frigid temps. It's cold here and I don't like it and now I will probably be in a bad mood for the next couple of months. Especially with a winter storm warning that is spanning a 36 hour time period and predicted to dump at least 8 inches of snow and as a bonus, some ice. Woo! (Insert sarcasm font). I guess there are a couple of things that could cheer me up--like a snow day, but that's highly doubtful. It's always Plan A. Except for twice last year which I am assuming was some sort of hole in the space time continuum. 

What else would cheer me up? Probably a big, creamy, steamy bowl of Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Bisque.  Who knew that a vegetarian delight like this would be able to warm my soul during cold, dreary winter days. Certainly not me. Ok. I'll stop complaining about winter. For now. And I'll focus on this soup. And maybe dream about the beach. 

I'm telling you. This bisque is everything a bisque is supposed to be. Velvety, smooth, creamy and soul-soothing. You should make it. And get this: it's healthy. What? Yes. Healthy. It can even be vegan if you skip the cheese. I refuse to skip the cheese. I'll give up meat on occasion but don't ask me to give up my cheese. I used a raw cheddar, but parmeggiano would be perfect too. Just adjust the measurements to taste since it's a saltier cheese. 

I got an emersion blender for Christmas. Fact. I'm in love with it. It makes my life easier and soon I will make mayonnaise and that makes me weirdly excited. Total food nerd, I know. It is the perfect kitchen tool to make this soup the perfect consistency. Now all you need is some crusty bread to dip and you're set! 

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Bisque

1 whole garlic bulb
1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, diced, about 3/4 cup
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups cheddar cheese (optional)
2 teaspoons Rosemary
Olive oil
Green onion, chopped, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Cut the top off the bulb of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Wrap in foil and roast for about 40 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cover a baking sheet with foil.  Place chopped cauliflower on foil and drizzle with olive oil, about a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes also in a 400 degree oven. 

When cauliflower and garlic are finished roasting, preheat a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and diced onion. Let cook for about 5 minutes or until onion starts to turn translucent. 

Add cauliflower and garlic to the onion mixture and stir. To remove the garlic, simply squeeze the bulb from the bottom and the cloves should pop out.

Pour in vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to 90 minutes. 

Using an emersion blender, blend until you reach your desired consistency. I prefer mine super smooth. 

Stir in cheese until melted. Remove from heat. Garnish with green onion and serve with a crusty bread. Enjoy! 

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