They say, that any completed dish is only as good as the ingredients you start with. One of the basic kitchen staples where this really becomes obvious to me is in using homemade stock or commercial stock. The homemade stock wins hands down, every single time. Why? It is richer and more flavorful. It doesn’t matter if I just put chicken in water, or add some seasoning vegetables to my stock, the end product just makes everything taste better.
One humble example is in this potato cauliflower soup, where the homemade stock provides a richness that eliminates the need to add any kind of milk or dairy to it, except for the butter used to make a light roux as a thickener. Any other oil could be substituted in place of the butter.
Excellent when it’s cold season, and you’re serving it up to sick, snuffly, and tummy tender folks. It hits the spot.
You will need:
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 celery stick (this is a good place to use up those inner leaves)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- good sprinkle of salt
- 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 cups water
- 2 large baking potatoes, chopped large
- 2 to 4 cups cauliflower florets and stems
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon white or black pepper
Saute onion, carrot and celery in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt (kosher preferably), about 1/2 teaspoon. When the onion is translucent, add the 4 tablespoons butter. When melted, add the 4 tablespoons flour and whisk well. After it bubbles for a about a minute (you are making a blond roux), add one cup of the stock or water and whisk well. Let return to bubble, and add a second cup of stock or water. When it is fully incorporated, add the remaining liquid, the potatoes, cauliflower, and salt and pepper. Let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Time to puree.
If you are using a blender to puree the soup, let the soup cool a little before doing so. When cool, puree in batches and return to the soup pot, or containers for fridge or freezer.
If you are using an immersion blender, it is not necessary to let cool, just insert the blender and let run the soup is smooth and creamy.
The soup is pretty good as is. If you are feeding those with tender tummies or fevers, do not add any more dairy. If you are serving this for company, you may want to add some cream and/or cheese of your choice.
My batch made almost exactly 4 quarts.
2 quarts for us, 2 quarts for friends!
NOTE: This soup does freeze well. With a little whisking, it comes right back together when reheating.