|Julian's Cauliflower Leak Soup|
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, white and light green parts only
(halved lengthwise, washed and sliced thin)
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
Salt and white pepper, to taste
4 1/2 cups water
1/4 - 1/3 cup half and half, cream or milk (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cider or champagne vinegar or vinegar reduction/glaze
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives (garnish)
|Leaves removed, core separated.|
Tear off outer leaves of cauliflower and trim dry end of the stem. Cut around core to remove as shown in the photo and thinly slice it and set aside. Cut heaping 1 cup of small (half inch florets) from head of cauliflower; set aside. Cut remaining cauliflower into 1/2-inch chunks or slices.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, onion, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring frequently, until leek and onion are softened but not browned, 6-7 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high; add water, sliced core, and half of the 1/2 inch chunks and slices of cauliflower; and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add remaining chunks and slices of cauliflower, return to simmer, and continue to cook until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily, about 20 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
Use a stick (in-pot) blender or a standard blender and process soup until completely smooth. Re-warm the soup over over medium heat, and add optional cream/dairy until the soup is the correct consistency (thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred). If not using dairy, then thin as needed with water. Taste and season with additional salt and white pepper. Keep warm or when ready for service re-warm.
Melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook, stirring frequently, until florets are golden brown and butter is browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and use slotted spoon to transfer florets to small bowl. Toss florets with vinegar and season with salt to taste. Pour browned butter in skillet into small bowl and reserve for garnishing.
Serve the soup, garnishing individual bowls with browned florets, drizzle of browned butter, and chives.