Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cauliflower Cannellini Soup

Had a can of Cannellini Beans kicking around and thought I'd better use them before they expire. I bought them a long time ago because I was going to make something with them but never did! Sound like a familiar story? They are by Eden and were a bit overdone but better than underdone! Eden is overall a great company that provides quality products. For one thing they're one of the few companies that use Bisphenol-A free cans. I threw the beans in a strainer, rinsed them and that got rid of most of the excess starch. Not that it mattered in the end because I decided to take my immersion blender and pretty well liquefied the whole pot! I had 500 gm of organic frozen cauliflower to try out -- doesn't take long to cook that stuff -- next time I'm not going to use as much water as per directions on package. One-half cup is way too much -- about 2 tablespoons would have probably been better. Overall though I've got to say there's not a whole lot of flavor going on with frozen cauliflower - organic or not. I'll give it one more try as I do have one more bag. Maybe the fault lies with my water-logged preparation problem. Other than that I'd recommend fresh cauliflower as it's definitely got more of the flavor you're going to be looking for. It worked out okay in my soup because of all the extra ingredients but on it's own it would be kinda of sad! I was real excited about making the frozen cauliflower work because, of course, hey super easy, as opposed to chopping up mr. rough and tough fresh cauliflower! Plus in the winter cauliflower can cost about $6.00 a head on the prairies so the frozen is kinda of a bargain. I got them on sale for $3.00 for 500 gm bag and it contained about 2-1/2 cups. You don't get much more than that from a fresh head so you can see why I was mighty pleased with the "budget" part of the equation. It's the "taste" part of the equation that's getting me down, just a wee bit, but like I said I'm going to give it one more whirl. Regardless of whether you go with the frozen, or fresh cauliflower, this is a stick-to-the-ribs soup that will freeze well, balance your nervous energy and probably help you loose a few pounds. Doesn't that sound good?? Pass me the soup, pronto!!

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium size onions, sauteed
4 cloves garlic
1 carrot, finely minced
5 baby bok choy stems, chopped fine
sage, garlic powder, chili powder (1/2 tsp each)
curry powder (3 tsp)
white pepper & salt (to taste)
veggie broth powder (1 tbsp.)

3-4 medium size potatoes, diced
500 gm bag frozen cauliflower
425 gm (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed/drained.
lL Vitasoy Original Soy Milk
2-4 cups water

Saute the first 4 ingredients in the spices and oil while you peel about 3-4 medium size potatoes. Add 2 cups water to the pot. Add diced potatoes. If you are using fresh cauliflower add it now as well -- about 2 - 3 cups chopped. If using this route you might want to add some more water to assure veggies can cook properly. I guess you could throw in the frozen cauliflower straight in with the raw potatoes or pre-steam it, drain and set aside for a bit like I did. Simmer till potatoes are cooked. Add rinsed can of cannellini beans and the cauliflower if you set it aside. Add one litre of Vitasoy Original Soy Milk. I'm a real big fan of Vitasoy -- the tetrapak stuff seems a little thicker than refrigerated soy milks and hence makes for creamier soups, white sauces and puddings -- at least I think so. Take your immersion blender and whirl till smooth. Add extra water as required to get consistency you like. And if you prefer a chunky soup -- don't blend anything, skip the 1 L of soy milk and instead make a medium white sauce to stir through at the end. Oh, and perhaps this soup could benefit from a pinch of nutmeg --I didn't but next time I'll try and remember as cauliflower and nutmeg pair well together.

I made a few homemade croutons from some spelt bread I had in the freezer and I was set to go! This recipe made a huge pot of soup -- about 14 cups! An average size bowl holds about 2 cups so I guess you can count on about 7 servings. Looks like I'll be eating cauliflower soup for breakfast tomorrow morning! I actually like any meal any time of day so it's all good.

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