Twenty years ago, I had cauliflower Gorgonzola soup at The Blue Room in Kendall Square. This culinary treat was one of many shared with my sister on my weekend escapes from cafeteria food during college.
Although this soup’s simplest form is just as satisfying, there are hundreds of creative variations that are stunning. The French use butter and leeks, Italians use olive oil and parsley and sometimes garnish with pancetta, there are some made with Greek yogurt and egg whites instead of the traditional cream, sometimes this soup is garnished with bacon, some use buttermilk and caraway seeds and there is even a curried version.
The simple version is, of course, made with butter, cauliflower, and chicken broth. I am sticking to its Mediterranean origins and borrowing Gorgonzola from The Blue Room.
The most inspired way of utilizing cauliflower is by deep-frying the hell out of it. Every time Mama would make Magloubeh (fried cauliflower pilaf) or Mtaffayeh (fried cauliflower in Jameed), my brother and I would steal the fried cauliflower florets, salt and stuff them into Arabic bread – a tradition carried on by my son.
Roasting, even though not as good as deep-frying, caramelizes the sugars in cauliflower and robs this -otherwise bland – Brassica of its cabbage like odors apparent when boiled or steamed, and gives it a deep smoky sweet flavor.
Cauliflower is believed to come from Cyprus, Gorgonzola from its namesake town in Milan, and apples originated in the Dzungarian Alps in Kazakhstan.
Make this soup. It is easy, filling, and the twist lies in the garnish!
PREP TIME 5 mins COOK TIME 50 mins
Note: You can sub zucchini and radish with a large cauliflower, the soup will taste almost exactly the same.
- 1 Small Cauliflower, split into florets
- 3 Small Zucchinis, sliced 1/4 inch rounds
- 5 Small Red Radishes, quartered
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, cut in big chunks
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Tsps. Salt
- 1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Cups Hot Water
- 1/4 Cup Cream
- 1/2 Cup Gorgonzola Cheese
- 1 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 Tbsp. Honey
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 Large Apple, sliced 1/4 inch
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped
- Toss veggies with oil, salt and pepper
- Roast at 400°F — 25 minutes
- Broil on high — 5 minutes
- Melt butter, add spices, honey and thyme then caramelize apples while stirring frequently on medium high — 15 minutes
- Bring water to a boil, add the roasted vegetables, simmer covered — 20 minutes
- Mix in cream and Gorgonzola and blend until smooth
- Garnish with caramelized apples
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