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cleaning (recipe 5 in the 52 recipe resolution)

February 22, 2013

Do you write a grocery list or do you wing it?  I write a list but each week there’s a thing or four that aren’t on the list that make it into the cart.  They look good at the time and I have a hundred ideas of what I’ll do with it.  Then, 10 days later they haven’t been used and are either in the refrigerator threatening to go bad or gradually being moved farther and farther to the back of the cabinet.

A couple of days ago I opened the refrigerator and saw a head of cauliflower, a couple of carrots and a few stalks of celery and they all looked like they’d seen better days.  I closed the refrigerator knowing I needed to come up with something and then a bad nights sleep provided the answer.  I’d roast and puree the cauliflower and add it as a thickener to potato soup.  That would use up all of the produce that was languishing in the vegetable bin.  I’m not the only one who resolves recipe problems while sleeping, right?

One of the best parts about this soup is that while it looks creamy, it’s the cauliflower puree.  There’s barely 1/4 cup milk in the soup and you could probably eliminate that.  The croutons on top were a last-minute inspiration to use up a couple of pieces of leftover garlic bread.  I just cut them up and ran them through a 250F toaster oven for about 12 minutes.

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Soup
Serves 4 as an appetizer but can easily be doubled and serve 4 for dinner

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 medium/large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled (or not) and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
3 cups chicken stock, divided
3 T olive oil, divided
1/4 cup milk
1 T flour
1/2 t salt
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.

Toss cauliflower with 1 T olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.  Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.  Remove foil and let cool.

While the cauliflower is roasting add the remaining olive oil to a pot then add the carrot, celery and onion.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring occasionally, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, still stirring occasionally, and season with salt and pepper.

Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, add it to the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put the cauliflower into a blender, add the remaining stock and puree.   Add the cauliflower puree to the potato soup and let it heat back up.

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