This is a beautiful soup to serve special guests and can be made ahead and just given the addition of the orange zest and juice to perk it up and heat through. This one will make your guests sit up and go “Oh Yummmmmmm!”
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- 4 cups of vegetable stock (the best quality you can buy)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 large head (7 cups) cauliflower, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (this is important)
Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan, add the onion, and saute for about 5 minutes, just until softened but not browned. Add the bay leaf, garlic, pinch of salt and pepper and saute for another minute until the garlic has become softened and fragrant.
Add the potato, stock, and water . Bring to a bowl and do scrape up the bits stuck to the pot with a rubber spatula. Stir in the cauliflower and let this boil for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and remove from the heat.
Remove the bay leaf, and in small batches, transfer to a blender and puree. Stir in the cream and blend well. Always make sure to do in small batches and keep the lid on tight…you don’t want to be washing down the ceiling. Puree the entire soup until velvety smooth. Set aside. (This can be kept in the fridge for 2 days before serving….just reheat.
If you are going to prepare ahead and reheat when ready to serve…hold back the zest and juice and add when reheating. If serving immediately after making (doubtful) add the juice and zest at the end.
Spiced Pear Chips
- 1 large but firm Bosc pear
- 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut the pear lengthwise into paperthin slices. Combine the spices together and sprinkle over the slices. Place on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and place another cookie sheet on top. This is to keep the slices flat.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the edges start to look dry and are very soft.
Remove the top cookie sheet and CAREFULLY peel off the parchment paper off the top. Bake for up to 30 minutes, checking often until the pears are dry and firm. They will crisp up while cooling. While still warm, carefully peel off the parchment paper and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Get out your prettiest soup bowl, ladle the soup and top with a couple of the pear chips (standing up for pure drama).