Cook's Illustrated Cauliflower Soup w/ Brown Butter Cauliflower "Croutons"
Cooks Illustrated is the only cooking magazine I don't subscribe to.
I understand their policy about not publishing recipes online. They don't have advertisers, so they want you to pay for an online subscription. It's business.
Now the man w/ the bow tie, the editor/founder of Cooks Illustrated is leaving because of contractual issues?
His goodbye letter was quite weird. I know it's parody, and folksy, but it is downright creepy if you ask me.
This guy should write horror stories and get out of the kitchen.
When I first started blogging almost 8 years ago, I posted a Cooks Illustrated recipe and they nicely wrote to me asking me to please take it down for copyright infringement.
I complied, but have never been their friend since.
I doubt they will ask me to remove this recipe this time, since I found it on the internet on Debby's site and others.
Even though C.I. and I are not "friends", I find their recipes are very good, always with an interesting twist, such as here, using the cauliflower pieces as croutons.
I liked this soup very much, however, I like Dorie Greenspan's version better, which uses chicken stock........so I will be combining the two, using Dorie's recipe w/ C.I.'s brown butter "croutons".
This is a very simple soup, using water as the base.
The stars were the brown butter cauliflower croutons....genius idea!
The soup looks like a veloute, a smooth, white velvety sauce.........a healthy option, sans cream, however, it does use a lot of butter.
C.I. Cauliflower Soup w/ Brown Butter "Croutons": (adapted from Cooks Illustrated & Feast for the Eyes)
1 head cauliflower (about 2 lbs)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
salt and pepper
5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Cut up 3/4 of the cauliflower head into thin slices. Cut the remaining 1/4 of the head into 1/2" florets (these will be the "croutons").
Cut up the leek and onion and saute on medium heat in 3 tbsp butter until translucent.
Add in the 5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Add in half of the sliced cauliflower and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add in the rest of the sliced cauliflower (there will be more room in the pot once the cauliflower has cooked down) and simmer another 15 minutes. It should easily fall apart.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it is velvety smooth.
Season w/ salt & pepper, and taste to adjust seasonings.
In a separate frying pan, heat 5 tbsp of butter on medium.
Add in the small 1/2" cauliflower florets and cook about 8 minutes, until the butter has a nice nutty smell, and the florets are browning.
Remove the florets to a bowl and splash w/ the 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar. The vinegar really adds a punch in soups (I use it in my lentil soup and brisket chili too).
Pour the brown butter into a separate vessel for drizzling.
Serve the soup in bowls, drizzle some brown butter over the bowl. Garnish w/ chives or parsley and top w/ the brown butter florets.