Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Roasted elephant garlic + cauliflower soup

In the winter months—since my local farmers market is closed—I subscribe to weekly deliveries from Papa Spuds, a local online farmers market. You choose what you'll receive each week—veggies to fruit to bread to flour to cheese—and they show up in an insulated box in front of your door. Local eggs, fish, and meat are also available for an additional charge. And you can put your subscription on hold, if you're on vacation. It's a great service for those of you readers that are in the Triangle area.

Recently I received elephant garlic in my box among the potatoes, cabbage, radishes, and collards. Despite it's size, its flavor is actually milder than normal-sized garlic. It's closer kin to leeks and needs to be consumed quicker than you probably eat a head of garlic.
I decided to roast the entire head of garlic with cauliflower and make a big batch of soup. Roasting vegetables imparts a depth to the soup that sauteing just can't provide (as do roasted veggie stocks). It's perfect in the winter.
Don't worry about the garlic overpowering the soup, it's actually quite subtle. I used all, but one of the cloves, saving it for a batch of hummus. This soup may be vegan, but the almond milk and cauliflower give it such a luxurious, creamy texture. I enjoyed bowls for lunch with leftover oat soda bread.

Roasted elephant garlic & cauliflower soup
1 head elephant garlic
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp ghee
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium turnip, diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp paprika
4-5 c water
2 c almond milk
smoked paprika & dill to garnish each bowl

Preheat oven to 350. Drizzle elephant garlic (or regular head of garlic) with about a tablespoon of olive oil and cover with foil. Roast for almost an hour.

Fifteen minutes later, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread cauliflower florets onto the sheet and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes.

Put ghee into a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, cooking until translucent and softened. Add the celery, turnip, bay leaves, and spices. Cover for five minutes, allowing the vegetables to sweat a bit. Add the elephant garlic and roasted cauliflower along with the water and almond milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves. Use a hand immersion blender (or regular blender) and blend until smooth. If the consistency is chunky, like puree, add water to thin.

Finish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and dill.


la domestique said...

How wonderful to have farm fresh veggies delivered to your house in the middle of winter! I love the flavor of elephant garlic, and the soup looks delicious.

Tiffany said...

This soup looks fabulous. Healthy and delicious. I like that combination!

Unknown said...

So good... So healthy... I'm sure it's delicious. Would love to try this sometime.

Matt said...

Oh man, I'm gonna have to try this! I'm so glad you use Papa Spud's, did you know you can get my cheese through them?

Anonymous said...

Delicious! I made it yesterday and it came out perfect, a perfect balance of creaminess and a wonderful roasted flavor. Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

Matt, I did know you could get your cheese :)

Anonymous, glad you liked the soup!