Jane Green
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Cauliflower Parmesan Soup: A Happy Mistake

November 21st, 2014

It is freezing. Granted, it could be worse - we do not have six feet of snow outside our front door, but this cold has appeared so quickly and unexpectedly, I don't feel in the slightest bit prepared. My warm knitted hats are all hiding in a basket somewhere, God only knows where, and I am seriously considering stringing my new gloves through the sleeves of my coat, a la toddler-hood, because I know they'll be lost in about three days. This weather makes me crave comfort food. Stews, casseroles, and soups. If you have pre-ordered Saving Grace online, you will hopefully already have received a free copy of my new cookbook, Happy Food. If not, I'm giving you a sneak preview of one of my recipes to keep you warm this cold weekend - Cauliflower Parmesan soup. This soup was a happy mistake. It came from one of those nights where I didn’t seem to have anything in the fridge other than a head of cauliflower that was well on its way to becoming inedible, a packet of pancetta, and some stale Parmesan. I do always tend to have onions, garlic, carrots and cauliflower, and always stock in the pantry. When all else fails, I can always pull something together with the aforementioned and anything else I can find. This was that night, and the truffle oil added the most delicious twist. For a whole winter we ended up eating this almost every night. Ingredients: 2 ounces chopped pancetta 1 cup chopped onion. Reserve tiny bit of pancetta if you like to garnish. 3/4 cup chopped celery 3 garlic cloves, chopped 1 head cauliflower 3 1/2 cups chicken broth 1-inch cube Parmesan, or any other strong cheese. I made this with Gorgonzola recently and it was AMAZING. Reserve some cheese to sprinkle over the top to serve. 1/2 cup half and half White or black truffle oil (for drizzling) Method: Sauté pancetta until brown. Add onion, garlic and celery and cook until vegetables are soft - a little over five minutes. Add cauliflower, broth and cheese. Bring to boil and simmer, covered, for around 20 minutes. Puree soup with a hand-held blender, add half and hIt is freezing. Granted, it could be worse – we do not have six feet of snow outside our front door, but this cold has appeared so quickly and unexpectedly, I don’t feel in the slightest bit prepared. My warm knitted hats are all hiding in a basket somewhere, God only knows where, and I am seriously considering stringing my new gloves through the sleeves of my coat, a la toddler-hood, because I know they’ll be lost in about three days.

This weather makes me crave comfort food. Stews, casseroles, and soups. If you have pre-ordered Saving Grace online, you will hopefully already have received a free copy of my new cookbook, Happy Food. If not, I’m giving you a sneak preview of one of my recipes to keep you warm this cold weekend – Cauliflower Parmesan Soup

This soup was a happy mistake. It came from one of those nights where I didn’t seem to have anything in the fridge other than a head of cauliflower that was well on its way to becoming inedible, a packet of pancetta, and some stale Parmesan. I do always tend to have onions, garlic, carrots and cauliflower, and always stock in the pantry. When all else fails, I can always pull something together with the aforementioned and anything else I can find. This was that night, and the truffle oil added the most delicious twist. For a whole winter we ended up eating this almost every night.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces chopped pancetta. Reserve tiny bit of pancetta if you like to garnish.
  • 1 cup chopped onion.
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth1-inch cube
  • 1-inch cube Parmigiano, or any other strong cheese. I made this with Gorgonzola recently and it was AMAZING. Reserve some cheese to sprinkle over the top to serve.
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • White or black truffle oil (for drizzling)

Method:

Sauté pancetta until brown. Add onion, garlic and celery and cook until vegetables are soft — a little over five minutes. Add cauliflower, broth and cheese. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for around 20 minutes.

Purée soup with a hand-held blender, add half-and-half. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls, drizzle with truffle oil and sprinkle cheese on top.