Between the last post and this one, I ran away from home.
I spent four days in New England in the midst of autumn splendor, ate my weight in seafood, discovered the wonders of a Truffle Martini, treated myself to not one but two Triple Espresso Chocolate Martinis (not all in the same sitting, mind you…), took a carriage ride in historic Boston, rode on an antique carousel, strolled through Quincy Market, gazed at the harbor lights at dusk, and reveled in the presence of my beautiful daughter, whom I hadn’t seen in nearly two years. (I also concocted a killer blackberry-balsamic reduction to drizzle over a baby arugula salad garnished with blackberries the size of my thumb — you didn’t think I’d abstain from cooking while I was away, did you?) ;)
If that’s not running away from home, I don’t know what is.
The best part was seeing my daughter. xo
Now that I’m back to “real life,” I’ve settled into the truth that it’s autumn here, too, and that means it’s soup weather.
Waaaay back in the 70’s, friends would host “progressive parties” (clarification: progressive dinner parties!) and meet at one home for an appetizer, trundle to the next for soup or salad, then onto another for the entree, and so on, until everyone ended up at the final destination for dessert. Good times — and good food.
One soup that piqued my interest then (and remains a favorite to this day) consisted of tender cauliflower florets floating in what I can only describe as a “velvety broth.” I made a batch recently using broccoli and cauliflower stems (recycled from this post), then ran it through the blender on a whim. Oh my! Creamy and velvety.
(adapted from my friend, Jane’s, recipe)
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
4 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. water
3 c. small cauliflower & broccoli florets (or pieces & stems)
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
Olive oil for drizzling
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Blend in flour and nutmeg.
Slowly whisk in chicken broth and water; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Add cauliflower and broccoli; return to a boil, then reduce heat.
Simmer, covered, about 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat; cool slightly.
Transfer vegetables and liquid to a blender; puree until smooth.
Return mixture to saucepan (wash pan out in between); begin heating over low heat.
In a small bowl, blend egg yolk with cream; whisk into soup until thoroughly combined.
Increase heat to medium, whisking constantly until mixture just comes to a boil.
Remove from heat; season with salt to taste. Ladle into bowls.
Drizzle with olive oil and grind black pepper over the top.
Sit back and enjoy vegetable velvety-ness!
. . .
Now about those crackers…
Earlier this year, Erin from Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts wrote about these and I’ve been hooked on them ever since. Fast, easy, savory… what can I say? They were the perfect crunchy accompaniment for “creamy velvety” soup.
They’re also versatile (translation: they stand up to my tinkering…) — I’ve added shredded cheese, sprinkled them with sea salt, brushed them with garlic butter, and/or added fresh rosemary to my heart’s content. (For the recipe, click here.) Can’t thank you enough, Erin — we’ve enjoyed them many times!
Enjoying a blast from the past and blessings in the present,