Nelson chef Jamie Hertz shares a recipe for dairy-free cauliflower soup.

Nelson chef offers up a cauliflower soup recipe

It's comfort food season in Nelson, and what better way to fend of the cold than with a bowl of roasted cauliflower soup.

I know I have talked about soups and how to make them before. I am going to share with you one of my favourite soups. It’s a roasted cauliflower puree, which when done right is hard to beat. I decided to make this recipe lactose free and gluten free so that a lot more people can try it, as well as to show you how you can simply modify something you may like to suit your dietary needs.

I have liked the combination of almonds and cauliflower before so I am sure almond milk will work in a soup. Just remember to use the unsweetened and natural flavour ones in this case. Somehow I don’t think that chocolate rice dream will taste good in a savoury soup, but that’s just me.

The best thing for this soup is to roast the cauliflower ahead of time until it’s golden brown.

I know I have mentioned this before in classes and other articles but it really makes a huge difference in the end result.

To do this you want to clean the florets off of the main stock and blanch them in water for no more then two minutes.

This is to just break down the cauliflower ever so slightly to help even out the roasting. If you don’t, you will find that certain parts of the cauliflower will be done before others.

Recipe

1 head cauliflower

½ white onion (small dice)

1 tsp garlic (minced)

1 L natural unsweetened almond beverage

1 lemon

1 cup roasted/confit garlic

1 cup white wine

2 tbsp Herbes de Provence (spice blend)

To begin this recipe you want to get your small pot hot and then add enough oil to coat the bottom. Add your onions and garlic and cook them until they have a slight golden brown colour.

Add your roasted cauliflower and cook everything out for about ten minutes. This is to allow all of the ingredients to meet each other and get comfortable being in the same pot together.

Add your roasted garlic and Herbes de Provence and continue to cook out for a couple more minutes.

You will notice small bits of things sticking to the bottom of the pot.

This is a good thing and has a lot of flavour so you want to extract that and the best way is to deglaze with an acid, in this case white wine.

You want to add the wine in the pot and with a wooden spoon scrape all the bits off and mix them into the soon to be soup. You want to be sure to do this before things get too hot and burn, so keep your heat at about a medium.

Now you can add your almond beverage, lemon and season with salt and pepper and let this cook out for at least 30 minutes on low heat. The longer it simmers the better it will be, so if you want to make it a day ahead of time it will taste even better.

With a hand blender, food processor or standard blender you want to puree the soup until it’s silky smooth. You can even pass it through a strainer if you don’t like the texture.

I hate using flour as a thickening agent in any of my cooking; it’s old school and not really that healthy. Instead I like to use rice or potato if you really want to give it a thick texture or just simply reduce it slowly until you reach your desired thickness.

Just remember if you reduce something to hold off on the seasoning until towards the end. When you reduce something, the flavors intensify the more water is evaporated, so season lightly.

I hope you enjoy this tasty soup.

-Chef Jamie Hertz

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