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Roasted Cauliflower Soup w/Celery + Hazelnuts

December 05, 2016

This quick and satisfying soup is inspired by the Cauliflower + Corn Chowder with Red Pepper Oil from the Feed Zone Table Cookbook. In lieu of charring corn to add to the roasted cauliflower base, this version invites you to add celery, parsley, pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts to make the soup crunchy, bright, and hearty.

To make it easily on a weeknight, crank up the oven and roast the cauliflower while you're preparing the rest of dinner. Then toss it in a soup pot with the stock and other ingredients and VOILA! Serve it up with a fresh salad, roasted chicken and crusty bread. (You'll likely have enough to have leftovers for lunch!)

Not a fan of one of these add-ins? Switch out the toasted hazelnuts for walnuts or pumpkin seeds. Don't have time to quick pickle the celery? Freshly sliced pieces will be delicious as well. And, you can make this soup vegan by substituting the yogurt for hazelnut milk or your favorite nut milk. Enjoy with your hungriest family + friends!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup w/Celery + Hazelnuts
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

1 pound cauliflower (about 1 large head,) leaves trimmed

1 cup plain yogurt

6 stalks fresh celery, chopped thinly

roughly 1 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed and chopped coarsely

top with: fresh parsley, 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Turn on the oven to 350F degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Slice the head of cauliflower in half, rub with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the cauliflower if fork tender and charred around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool briefly. (Alternatively, the cauliflower can be roasted one day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.)

In a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, bring the chicken stock to simmer. Chop the roasted cauliflower into small pieces and add them to the simmering stock then lower the heat. Allow the flavors to meld and the soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, chop the celery and parsley. (To quick pickle the celery: in a small bowl or glass jar, combine the chopped celery, 1/4 cup of hot water, 3-4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar or rice vinegar, a pinch of salt, a pinch of fennel seeds and mustard seeds and 1-2 tablespoons honey. Warm the mixture in the microwave or in a small saucepan briefly, just to bring to steam. Then, seal the jar or cover the bowl and let steep for 15-20 minutes at a minimum. You can keep any leftover celery sealed in the jar for a week to add to other dishes for a tart/sweet and crunchy texture!)

Once the soup is fragrant, add 1 cup of yogurt and stir well. Remove the stock pot from the heat and prepare to blend it. Using an immersion blender, food processor or blender, blend the soup until smooth (an immersion blender is easiest for this because you can blend directly in the pot, whereas you'll need to puree the soup in batches with a blender or processor.)

Once the soup is smooth, ladle it into bowls and top with celery, parsley, toasted chopped hazelnuts, pomegranate seeds and feta cheese. Enjoy! 

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