Fig.1. Giant cauliflower grown in St-Clet.
Walking past the William Mattheeuws kiosk in the Jean-Talon Market (they own a cauliflower and broccoli farm in Saint-Clet) a couple of weeks ago, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a giant cauliflower. At $5.00 a head these beasts can feed the presiding members of the Bastarache commission for a week. I like cauliflower soup, so when the specimens are this big, and still in season, why not make a monster pot.
Roasted Cauliflower and Curry Soup
Fig.2. It`s important that your vegetables caramelize in order to develop more flavour.
This soup is bare bones-no cream, no milk, no butter. The carrots and leeks will help sweeten the soup. You can add to the flavour by adding things like roasted garlic or a good curry paste. It freezes well and makes for a great lunch, and, if you’re looking to bring down your calorie intake, this soup will help flush your system, literally.
1 1/2 giant cauliflower, (or 2 regular ones) florets removed, stems chopped--do not throw away those stems!
4 leeks, white bottom half only, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
6 small new potatoes, halved
1 tbsp Patak's curry paste (optional)
1/4 cup lemon juice
chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Prepare your curry paste by mixing it with the olive oil and the lemon juice. (if you're using it; if curry's not your thing feel free to use any flavor you like, or nothing at all. If you do stay "au naturel" you still need to add the olive oil and lemon juice to prevent the vegetables from drying out too much.) Spread out your vegetables on some cookie sheets and pour the olive oil mixture over them and toss, place your trays in the oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes, or until vegetables turns golden brown (it's a good idea to toss the vegetables after 20 minutes so they cook evenly).
Remove your vegetables from the oven and let them cool. Once cool, you can begin to purée. Fill your blender 3/4 of the way up with vegetables (I like to mix the vegetables up as I add them to the blender.) then add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock and purée. (the amount of stock can vary depending on the size of your blender; also if you like a thick, porridge-like soup, add less stock, if you like it loose, add more stock, it's not rocket science.) Empty the puréed vegetables into a big pot or bowl, add salt and pepper to your liking, and stir it all well. You're now ready to heat it up and serve, or store into containers and freeze.
Fig.4. Stored and ready to be placed in the freezer. Great for lunch, or, serve it with fish or seafood. Next time you have company over, serve in a bowl with a few pan seared scallops or shrimp, or use the soup to mat your plate.