13 May 2007

Reasons Why I Haven’t Been Blogging Lately

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Brazil Nut Pesto

Reasons Why I Haven’t Been Blogging Lately:

1. I’ve been on a diet ha ha ha ha ha ha.
2. I’ve been training for space travel.
3. My teleporting skills have been discovered and the government has been dissecting my brain. Meanwhile, the scientists are loaning me a temporary brain. I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be the brain of a monkey because I really can’t think of anything to write lately and I have been resisting strong urges to eat banana peels and hurl turds at people.
4. I have won the lottery and I’ve been making lists of who I like and don’t like and who I will share my money with and who doesn’t get any. Anyone who comments on this post automatically gets $100.
5. I’ve been spending all my spare time figuring out the HTML code for strikethrough.

Truthfully, I have no excuse for not posting regularly. Maybe the beautiful weather has been keeping me outside. But before the weather gets too warm, you need to know about this delicious cauliflower soup from Heidi Swanson's new book. I slurped it up steaming hot, but next time I make it, I just might try it cold.

If you haven’t heard about Heidi Swanson’s new book, Super Natural Cooking, let me tell you a little about it. The author of the blog 101 Cookbooks has created a gorgeous and inspiring cookbook. She teaches you how to use natural ingredients to make delicious and satisfying meals. Instead of being scared away by ‘health food,’ readers can learn about her unique approach to the preparation of vegetables, beans, whole-grains, and other whole foods. The photography is all her own, and the pages are done in a soft, matte finish, which enhances the natural concept of the book. Having made the sweet potato spoon bread, shredded green beans with lemon-lime zest and snipped chives, golden-crusted brussels sprouts, giant crusty and creamy white beans with greens, and this cauliflower soup, I can say that all the buzz her book is creating is well deserved. Yum.

The soup is quick and easy to prepare, and while the flavors are simmering, you can get the pesto ready. The hardest part is making the swirl. In lieu of a swirl, a dollop would suffice.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Brazil Nut Pesto
from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking

For the Soup:
3 tablespoons clarified butter or extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 large potato peeled and chopped
1 ½ pounds cauliflower, coarsely chopped
5 cups vegetable stock or water
1/3 cup heavy cream or Cashew Cream
fine-grain sea salt (I used kosher salt, still good)

For the Pesto:
½ cup toasted Brazil nutes (I only had pine nuts, still good)
2 handfuls spinach leaves, stemmed
4 cloves garlic
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
generous pinch of fine-grain sea salt (I used kosher)

Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat, add the garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes, until translucent. Stir in the potato and cauliflower and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and puree thoroughly with a handheld immersion blender. Stir in the cream and season to taste.

To Make the Pesto:
Puree all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls, drop a spoonful of pesto in each one, and use a knife or toothpick to swirl.

a spoonful of pesto (who needs the soup?)


evinrude said...

Ooh! This looks good ^^. Are you serious about the lottery part? Hehe.

Patricia Scarpin said...

This soup is just perfect! Mind if I steal this spoon full of pesto, Erielle?? ;)

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I'm signing in for my $100 if you win.

That soup looks very yummy. I'm not a big fan of the cauliflower, but this might make it worthwhile...

Kate said...

Yum....I love cauliflower soup even without that yummy looking pesto topping. I may just have to get that cookbook; no matter what I read about it, it just tempts me to no end.

Lisa said...

This does look gorgeous. Would you be willing to share the recipe for cashew cream? I have a friend who can't eat dairy for a while, and that might be fun for her to try.

Kate said...

cauliflower ,...not so sure...pesto...2 thumbs up ...i even put some on a slice of bread when i'm really hungry...hmmm heaven...just love pesto.!

Erielle said...

Evinrude, no I wasn't serious about winning the lottery. I seem to have developed the habit of saying ridiculous things on this blog and then not saying if I am kidding or not.

Patricia, you go right ahead!

J, I'll let you know if my back-up plan for financial success comes through.
If you don't like cauliflower, you could always make potato soup and then swirl the pesto into that.

Kate, it's paperback, totally affordable. I recommend it, especially now that it's spring and summer and you will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Lisa, I don't have the book on me right now, but when I do, I'll email you the recipe.

Kate, pesto = delicious. Why wouldn't it be, with that combination of delicious ingredients? And maybe Heidi's version is a little healthier since it's made with spinach and not basil. So we can eat more of it.

Kristen said...

I haven't been blogging lately either, but my reasons why aren't nearly as exciting as yours! Very creative :)
That soup does sound fantastic!