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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Martha Stewart's creamy cauliflower soup with greens

My recipe yesterday was a little bit labor intensive, no? Let's switch things up today, and talk about a soup that is far more rich in the veggies, while taking a fraction of the amount of time.

But first, let's talk about the little miracle in my life.

I work at a preschool, where my duties include... well, everything. I never really know what I am going to be responsible for until I arrive in the morning. I often supervise the playground, shop for the groceries that become the kids'  afternoon snack, or keep the toy storage room clean and organized. I stuff envelopes, accompany kids to the bathroom, and file paperwork. 

And, as it turns out, I do laundry. Due to a series of events that won't interest you in the least, our regular system of getting the school laundry (mainly the cloth covers for the little mats where the kids take their naps) broke down last week. When I arrived in the morning, I was greeted by some teachers in a slight panic, because they were going to have nowhere for the cherubs to lay down at nap time. If you have ever faced 40 kids who need a nap at the same time, you would panic too.

And so I gathered up the dirty items, a stack of magazines from the staff room, and some detergent, and I headed out to the laundromat. There is probably a whole blog post about the people one encounters in a laundromat, but for today, let's talk about my miracle, okay?

After I got the laundry agitating, I sat down with the magazines. I mentally pleaded Come on, magazines. I know that one of you is going to have a recipe that calls for lots of the veggies I have right now... While we're at it, is there any chance it can please be the cauliflower and collard greens? Oh yeah, one more thing. Please don't require a stop at the supermarket, kay?

And guess what!? Martha Stewart Living had a recipe that onehundredpercent answered my little prayer to the magazine gods. 

I introduce you to Creamy Cauliflower Soup. It, of course, uses cauliflower and collard greens. It also uses onion, fresh dill, and copious amounts of garlic, all of which I have on hand, all out of the Abundant Harvest Organics box. Other than that, all it required was olive oil, salt, pepper, and water. Hooray!

As if that weren't enough excitement among the industrial washers, the soup is really quick to put together. Saute the onions and garlic, simmer the cauliflower and collard greens, and puree it all. 

It is creamy (thanks to the cauliflower) without using cream. It is bright and fresh and filling, and the drizzle of olive oil and fresh pepper on top give it just enough heartiness to let it stand as a main course.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Sea salt
1 medium head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), florets and stems cut into 1-inch pieces (8 to 9 cups)
4 1/2 cups filtered water
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
5 large kale or collard leaves, or a combination, tough ends removed and leaves roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook onion, covered, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook for 3 minutes more. Add cauliflower and pour in filtered water until it reaches just below the top of the cauliflower.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons dill. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in greens, and simmer for 3 minutes.
Let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons dill. Puree soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, adding more water (about 1/2 cup) if it's too thick. Return to pot and reheat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with dill, black pepper, a drizzle of oil and a pinch of sea salt.