This past weekend, we decided to attend the Minneapolis Farmers Market right after it opened at 6 am. It was still dark out, so the market was all lit up under the canopies – we didn’t even know they did that.. it was beautiful! The air was crisp and fresh, the moisture from the recent rain really carried the scent of the fresh produce through the air, and it wasn’t crowded or noisy at all. We were able to enjoy the feel and smell of the air, without the sensory overload of noise and crowd… By far my favourite farmers market experience to date!
Without having to rush to get away from noise, we were able to stroll the aisles, buying a TON of produce. I had it in my head that I wanted to go on a soup making binge, and we walked away WELL equipped for it!
The two soups and the stew I made this weekend were all fantastic, but this one stood out for its ease and simplicity.
This roasted cauliflower soup took very little effort – and not many ingredients – but became an instant favourite. I basically wanted to make a soup version of cauliflower mash, but roasted. Roasted onion and garlic adds flavour and complexity, and the white wine brings just a touch of acid and refinement to it. The thick, creamy texture of the soup is accented with a drizzle of smokey serrano pepper oil… oh, this is GOOD.
While it’s easy enough to make pepper oil by infusion, I wanted something quick and easy… and wanted to use what I had on hand.
I love, love, LOVE hot pepper powders! We pick them up at our local homebrew supply store – Midwest Supplies – who stocks them as part of their hot sauce supplies. My favourite lately has been their Smoked Serrano Powder, but I’ve always loved their jalapeno powder. (You may remember it from my husband’s “Epic Popcorn” recipe!). Seriously, pick up a few powders – they do mail order! – and have fun with them.
Stirring the powder into the oil is quick and easy, but’ll probably make purists cringe. Whatever.
This makes a fair amount of the oil, but it keeps well in the fridge – just stir well before use. You can drizzle as much or little of the oil as you want – pretty, kinda fun to be able to customize, AND the smokiness really works well with this soup.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Smoked Serrano Drizzle
2 heads cauliflower
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper
3 cups chicken broth*
1 cup milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp smoked serrano powder
Preheat oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Remove any leaves from the cauliflower, chop into large florets. Peel and slice onion, peel garlic. Arrange cauliflower, onion, and garlic on baking sheet, drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 50 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes or so until golden brown.
Transfer roasted veggies and garlic to a large pot. Add chicken broth, milk, and white wine, mash lightly with a potato masher. Bring almost to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.
Puree soup mixture until smooth – you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor or blender. Transfer smooth puree back to the pot, add heavy cream and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Stir smoked serrano powder into oil, drizzle over individual servings of soup.
* We used this amount of chicken broth, knowing we like our soup THICK. If you’d like a thinner soup, just add a bit more chicken stock!
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