Comfort Food – Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Even though it is December and it should be raining in Israel, winter hasn’t really begun. On Friday, I was out in a short-sleeved shirt planting baby pansies, some unknown flowering purple and white plants, and burgundy and white petunias. I am preparing the “garden” for the winter. I am cutting down the basil and lemongrass. The rest of the herbs, such as thyme and rosemary, should endure the winter weather.

Since it isn’t that cold, I haven’t felt like making the hearty winter soups that I usually make to keep us warm and cozy, but there was a sale on cauliflower and I saw an interesting recipe for cauliflower soup from Thomas Keller’s latest cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home. It is very easy to make and has a slight hint of curry in it. The recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of curry, but I used one teaspoon of hot madras curry and it was still subtle. I also used 10% fat cooking cream instead of heavy cream and it was still luscious and creamy.

After a small bowl of soup, I served baked salmon with a lemon-artichoke pesto on a bed of mashed Jerusalem artichokes and petit pois on the side. The pesto had the perfect amount of acidity from the lemon juice and capers. It was a nice and light addition to the thick soup.

Print
Salmon with Lemon Artichoke Pesto
Ingredients
  • 4 salmon fillets skinned
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained well
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Combine the artichokes, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, oil, capers, lemon zest, and pesto in the food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture is still chunky. Stir in the fresh herbs.
  3. Lay a fillet on top of a large square of foil and spread 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top of the salmon , fold up to enclose the fillets, and tightly crimp the edges to seal the pouches. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Print
Salmon with Lemon Artichoke Pesto
Ingredients
  • 4 salmon fillets skinned
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained well
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Combine the artichokes, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, oil, capers, lemon zest, and pesto in the food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture is still chunky. Stir in the fresh herbs.
  3. Lay a fillet on top of a large square of foil and spread 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top of the salmon , fold up to enclose the fillets, and tightly crimp the edges to seal the pouches. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Happy 2008!

The previous year was a whirlwind for me. It was a year of a couple of firsts, one was celebrating the first anniversary of my first and hopefully only marriage. Second, was writing my first blog. I have really enjoyed sharing new cooking and travelling adventures with all of you and don’t worry, there is much more to come.

I wish all of you a happy and healthy 2008. May all of your wishes come true.

New Year’s Eve is not widely celebrated here in Israel because in Judaism, the new year is Rosh Hashana, which normally falls in September or the beginning of October, depending on the Jewish Calendar. We went to a friend’s house for dinner, but did not say celebrate the new year, it was just a dinner with friend’s. We feasted on entrecote, lamb chops, lentils, zucchini, salad, homemade tomato bread, roasted potatoes and plenty of champagne.

To close the meal, I made Tarte au Citron. I know some of you will shriek that I made a parve version of this tarte, but it was as delicious as when I make it with butter. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. This recipe is from chef Thomas Keller of French Laundry, Bouchon and Per Se restaurants in the United States. The crust is made with pinenuts, but you could easily make it with a plain tart crust of your choice. Just make sure that the tart crust does not contain a lot of sugar. The lemon filling is lemony and very creamy because you make it using sabayon method, which means that you rapidly whisk the mixture over a bain marie until it is thick and creamy.

Print
Pine Nut Crust
Recipe from Bouchon by Thomas Keller Because this dough uses only one egg, it is difficult to make in a smaller quantity. You will use one-third of this recipe to make the Lemon Tart; freeze the extra dough for another time.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pine nuts 283g or 10 ounces
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 226 g 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Place the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the sugar and flour and continue to pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter, egg and vanilla and mix to incorporate all the ingredients (the dough can be mixed by hand or in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before using. The extra dough can be frozen, wrapped well, for up to 1 month.
Print
Pine Nut Crust
Recipe from Bouchon by Thomas Keller Because this dough uses only one egg, it is difficult to make in a smaller quantity. You will use one-third of this recipe to make the Lemon Tart; freeze the extra dough for another time.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pine nuts 283g or 10 ounces
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 226 g 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Place the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the sugar and flour and continue to pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter, egg and vanilla and mix to incorporate all the ingredients (the dough can be mixed by hand or in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before using. The extra dough can be frozen, wrapped well, for up to 1 month.
Related Posts with Thumbnails