Why It Works
- Cauliflower and bacon are natural-born partners. By first rendering bacon fat and then using it as the base for our soup, we create extra layers of flavor even before the cauliflower hits the pot.
You know who get along great together? Cauliflower and bacon. That's who. But cauliflower and cream also have a thing going on. Obviously there's only one way this can end, and it ain't pretty.
Scene: Bacon struts into the the diner, his body extra streaky, his skin extra crisp. He walks up to the bar and orders a milk, chocolate. He takes a big swig then walks over to the booth full of brassicas in the corner.
Bacon: Cauliflower, I'm bacon. Bacon McCrisp, and I'm your density. I mean...I am your destiny.
Cream walks into the bar and looks around, angrily.
Cream: Hey McCrisp, I thought I told you to stay away from my brassica. Well, it's gonna cost you.
The two engage in a mighty exchange of fisticuffs, eventually dragging poor cauliflower into the brawl and pummeling each other into a purée so smooth, light, creamy, and delicious that it threatens to cause a rift in the space-time continuum.
At least, that's how it all goes down in my head. In reality, the details are a lot more mundane, but the end result no less delicious.
There's not really much to this soup other than getting three ingredients together that were born to be together. We start by sautéing bacon in a saucepan until crisp, then use that rendered bacon fat to sweat some onions, garlic, and scallions. In goes chicken stock, cream (half-and-half or milk will work if you'd prefer), and cauliflower for a simmer.
As it cooks, the dairy will break. This is not a problem, because once you dump everything into a blender and purée it, it all comes back together.
Bacon goes back in along with some scallions, the soup gets seasoned, and that's about all there is to it. Sometimes simple perfection is just not worth messing with.
I see dinner in your future.
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, plus more as needed
2 bay leaves
1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until bacon is completely crisp. Remove from Dutch oven with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving fat in Dutch oven.
Add onions, half of scallions, and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
Add chicken stock, bay leaves, half-and-half (or cream), and cauliflower. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until cauliflower is completely tender, about 30 minutes.
Working in batches, blend soup until completely smooth (if you don't have a very powerful blender, remove the bay leaf before blending. If an extra-smooth soup is desired, pass the soup through a fine-mesh strainer after blending); if soup is too thick, whisk in additional hot chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time, until you've reached the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve sprinkled with crisp bacon pieces and remaining scallions.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 27g||35%|
|Saturated Fat 11g||56%|
|Total Carbohydrate 16g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 70mg||350%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|