20. März 2013

Cauliflower Bisque with Lemongrass

I love it when cooking experiments work out at first attempt. Through some ingredients in  a pot, add a dash of magic, et violà! Dinners ready. Of course, I am not always such a lucky lady, but today I certainly was.
I wanted to try a creamy cauliflower soup for a while now. But not that kind of cream soup you'd expect at your university's cafeteria (Yuck). Something more...delicate.
I used to hate cream soups for many reasons: Most of the time the were a bland tasting, cream-drowned vegetable purée on the base of beef stock. What kind of vegetable was supposed to be in there again? I can't tell. Sad. So sad.
Imagine my suprise when I started to crave creamy soup a few weeks ago!
Since one should always  follow one's gut feeling, I set out on a mission to create a light, yet creamy and flavorful vegetable soup that made me overcome my cream soup traumata (I know I am getting melodramatic again).
Coconut Cream Soup were have you been all my life? Yes, that right. There's so real heavy cream in this soup, no butter, no beef stock. Only plant-based ingredients. And guess what? It tastes delicious.
I actually made a happy dance after the first taste test.
Although cauliflower belongs to the cabbage family, it one of the lighter tasting cabbages. Cooked, it tastes slightly buttery and creates wonderful velvety soups when puréed.
It is also great for a mashed potato variation! Maybe I'll post a recipe for that in a while. So please try this soup, even if you are not too excited about cauliflower. I promise this soup will change your mind about this pretty vegetable

The recipe calls for only a few ingredients, but my motto is and has always been:
Simplicity is what makes the world go round. That refers to both food and life in general. Often it is the simple thing that makes you smile and leaves you in awe-stricken silence.
And to be honest: Fancy food is nice once in a while, but on a daily basis, I prefer simple food, that tastes amazing and does not take hours to prepare.  

Sometimes I find it hard to describe the taste and flavor of food. They are just so versatile, aren't they?
All too often I find myself discussing with a dear friend about a certain food and I am always amazed at how differently we see and taste things. Crazy biochemistry going on in our bodies, I guess.

I hope that this soup does not only compliment my taste buds, but yours, too.
Let me only say one more thing: This bisque has a velvety melt-in your-mouth texture, buttery taste with a hint of fresh lemongrass that brings the cauliflower to a new level.
Alright, enough said. Now you know what this soup means to me. I hope you agree!

(Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as an entrée)

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 stalk lemongrass
1 clove garlic

400ml (1 ¾ cups) coconut milk(I only had light)
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 cm ginger root, peeled
1 small dried chili, crushed
Fleur de sel to taste

Cut the lemongrass off where the white base portion ends and discard the tops. Pound the lemongrass until they are cracked and open. Peel and smash the garlic.
In a medium saucepan, place the cauliflower florets, lemongrass, garlic, ginger root, coconut milk and vegetable broth. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, add more vegetable  broth until the vegetables are just about covered by liquid. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is soft.
Remove lemongrass and ginger root from soup and purée with a handheld blender until very creamy and light. Season with salt and more chili to taste.

You see, I couln't resist.

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