Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Dill Whipped Cream Recipe
Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Dill Whipped Cream

The secret of this soup is the garnish

They say the sign of an excellent cook is his or her soup. But they also say that about roast chicken. And eggs. As for me, I hope I'm not judged by my soup. It's not my favorite thing to cook, nor is it my favorite thing to eat.

But when the weather turned cold, something came over me and I found myself making this roasted cauliflower soup. Its inspiration came from many different places: a new cookbook, a dish I saw on a restaurant menu, and a new food mill. It came together one afternoon, and to my surprise I found myself slurping it straight from the pot. I kept the recipe straightforward and classic; I used my intuition to build flavorful layers while keeping the taste true to its ingredients.

It turned out to be delicious. The best part is the dill whipped cream piled on top. I've read about savory uses for whipped cream before, even bookmarked them in my brain, and now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to try one out. I love that something so simple can to take a standard dish from ordinary to extraordinary. The possibilities are truly endless here: I think it would be great dolloped on smoked salmon blini, or even as a seasonal summer vegetable dip. Only your imagination is the limit.

So if a soup reveals a good cook, so be it -- as long as I have this garnish.

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Dill Whipped Cream

Dill Cream inspired by "A New Turn in the South" by Hugh Acheson

Serves 4-6.

For the soup:

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 leek, sliced into half moons and rinsed

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups good-quality chicken stock

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup creme fraiche

4 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 packed cup), optional

For the dill whipped cream:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 heaping tablespoon chopped dill

Kosher salt, to taste

For the soup, preheat oven to 450 F.

Toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the cauliflower with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower to the pan with the potatoes, stirring to combine. Cook for an additional 25 minutes, stirring midway through cooking, until vegetables are soft and golden brown.

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions and leeks, and saute until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add the roasted vegetables and stock to the Dutch oven, and season with a little salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.

To puree the soup, either run it through a food mill fitted with the medium disc or process in batches in a blender. If you want a very smooth soup, push the puree through a fine mesh sieve or chinois, if desired.

Return the soup to the Dutch oven. Add milk and creme fraiche, and rewarm over medium-low to medium heat. Whisk in cheese until completely melted, if using. Season the soup with kosher salt and pepper, to taste. (If making the soup in advance, leave out the milk, creme fraiche, and cheese until ready to reheat and serve.)

For the dill whipped cream, add heavy cream to a clean mixing bowl. Using a balloon whisk, whip the cream vigorously by hand until soft peaks begin to form. (I like a thickened yet still malleable texture.) Gently stir in the dill and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Chill for about an hour to allow flavors to marry. If the whipped cream gets too thick, just fold in a couple splashes of cream until it reaches the desired texture.

Serve the soup with a dollop of dill whipped cream, coarsely ground black pepper and a drizzle of good olive or walnut oil.

Soup Recipe, American Cuisine


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Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Dill Whipped Cream

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