Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Roasted Cauliflower & Charred Poblano Soup

Cauliflower is a great backdrop for the mildly spicy poblano chilis. Poblano chilis are large, almost heart shaped green peppers that ideal for stuffing, think chili rellenos. These chilis are usually roasted and peeled before use. Use gloves when peeling and deseeding the roasted peppers. I learnt this the hard way. I was wondering why my face and eyes were burning after I had peeled a few peppers and washed my hands thoroughly!! When these big guys are dried, they are called ancho or mulatto chilis.

The cauliflower is a superstar in its on right. Anti cancer compound called sulforaphane is released when the vegetable is cut or chewed. It also improves the liver's ability to detoxtify carcinogenic substances. The humble cauliflower is all this and more. They are wonderful roasted with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a dusting of sweet smoked paprika.The gentle roasting brings out the natural sugar in the vegetable and gently caramelizes at 350 degrees. Cauliflower florets cooked with red lentils or stir fried with carrots and prawns were my childhood favourites.

This soup recipe is from Bobby Flay's latest book The Mesa Grill Cookbook. I love this book!! All the recipes are beautifully and deliciously prepared. He creates a fantastic flavour profile with each and every dish in this book. This soup has a thick and creamy consistency and just a hint of heat. Just perfect for a blustery cool day in the Northeast.

Roasted Cauliflower & Charred Poblano Soup

1 head cauliflower cut into florets
2 tb olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tb heavy cream
1 poblano chillis - roated and pureed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil and black pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet. Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes. Make a few slits on the foil before the tray goes into the oven.

Meanwhile char the poblano chili. I have a gas stove and do this stove top. If you have an electrical range, you could roast it on the oven. Once the chili is charred, place it in a paper bag and close the bag. Leave it to steam in the bag for 20 minutes. The steam would make it easier for the charred skin to slip off. Remove the seeds and stem and puree in a food processor with 1/4 cup of water. Set aside.

Place the baked cauliflower in a pot and bring to a boil with the 3 cups pf vegetable broth. Turn heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.

Puree cauliflower with either a hand held blender or pour the ingredients in a blender. Be careful when blending hot vegetables . What I usually do is put a towel over the blender and forego the cover. I place my hand over the towel before I start the blender again.

Pour soup back in the pot and add pureed poblano and cream. If the soup is too thick add a bit more stock to bring it to a desired consistency. Heat until warmed through. Do not boil. I served this soup with organic blue corn chips with softened goat cheese.


Chuck said...

Mmmm! Roasted Cauliflower Poblano soup sound amazing. I bet it has a smooth, creamy texture and so tasty!

Kevin said...

This soup sounds really tasty! The goats cheese garnish is a great idea.

michelle@ TNS said...

love love love! i made a cauliflower parsnip soup a while back that was yummy, but this looks way better. and to think, i have that cookbook sitting on my shelf! (make the pan-seared halibut with poblano vinaigrette and yellow pepper hominy - SO GOOD)

Maya said...

Chuck, Kevin & Michelle:
It does not take long at all to make this soup and it is so satisfying.

Peter M said...

I just saw Kevin's take on this soup and I must extend my congrats to you and this soup!