Monday, September 3, 2012

Mom Blog Monday: De-grossifying Cauliflower

True, I once said this: "I hate cauliflower. Everything gross looks like it. Warts look like it. STD's look like it. 'Cauliflower ear'. You know, what wrestlers get. Your mom's elbows."*

I'm not a fan of the vegetable if you can even call it that. I mean look at it. 

But here's what I'll say it has going for it:
  • It's really quite filling.
  • It's cheap.
I kept purchasing red pepper and forgetting why so one day I threw a half-cauliflower in my basket and came up with Creamy Red-Pepper Cauliflower Soup. You'll need the following**:
  • Around 6–8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (I prefer to use my own homemade stock when it's handy)
  • A head of cauliflower
  • One red pepper
  • 2–3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 to 1/2 of a small to medium yellow or red onion 
  • 1–3 Tb. Butter or oil
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • A couple ounces of sharp white cheddar (optional)
  • A pot for steaming the cauliflower
  • A (larger) pot for soup
  • Immersion blender or regular counter blender
  1. Chop cauliflower into chunks. Chop onion and red pepper into small pieces (you don't have to dice). Dice or press garlic.
  2. While the cauliflower is steaming, sauté garlic, onion and red pepper with butter (use mild-flavored oil for vegan version).
  3. Steam the cauliflower until soft, easily mash-able—around 10 minutes. Add it to the sautéed mixture in the larger pot. 
  4. Mix all that stuff around real good.
  5. Add the chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegan version), bring to a boil for a few minutes while stirring soup often.
  6. Add salt and cayenne to taste (I err on the side of adding so much cayenne the soup is too spicy for most people=more for me.)
  7. Let the soup cool a little if you're using an immersion blender and cool a lot if you're using a regular counter blender. Puree the soup in the pot with the immersion blender or in small, cooled batches with the counter blender.
  8. Optional: If the soup has cooled significantly after pureeing, warm it up a little and add a couple...or serveral...slices of a delicious cheese such as an aged sharp cheddar. Stir the soup as the cheese melts.
Serve the soup with some diced italian parsley for color or extra cheese or a dollop of sour cream or some finely chopped bacon and you're welcome.

* I was mostly joking about Kady's mom's elbows—see Kady was always putting lotion on her elbows and I was like who puts lotion on their elbows? and she explained that her mother's lack of elbow-moisturizing had led to cauliflower elbows.

**I never actually measure things when I'm cooking. These are my estimates. Feel free to play around because that's half the fun of cooking.


  1. Thanks for the recipe! I'll let you know when I try it.

  2. So just how much cayenne pepper would you recommend?
    Thanks for sharing,
    Truby Bell
    P.S. i was sorry to hear that your Mom has "cauliflower" elbow, poor thing. So you might want to check with your healthcare provider because i've heard that it's an inheritable disorder and/or can be highly contagious!

    1. Ms. Bell-- In all honesty I add almost a full tablespoon of cayenne but I love spice. I would recommend you start with half a teaspoon and stir well, then sample the soup after a few minutes. You can always add more or add more spice to individual bowls with a pepper sauce like sriracha. Spice has a tendency to increase exponentially. So the soup you sample five minutes after adding cayenne could be much spicier on day 2 (unless that's all in my imagination).

  3. Due to my newfound insomnia, I just spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to find the "Like" button for this.


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