Friday, June 3, 2011

Xmas in June


Guess what I go for Xmas this last year? Well, I got what I asked for, a 10 qt pressure cooker and an immersion blender! Why I never had an immersion blender before is crazy...seriously. With all of the chilis, and soups that I make it should of been a must, and now it is.

Speaking of chilis and soups....I used my immersion blender 3 times already is less than a week, I feel like it's Xmas all over again! The time and clean up it saves me is so worth whatever the cost was (I hear Santa has to pay retail). I used to have to put steaming hot soups in the stand up blender to puree, but it's the pulling the damn thing out of the cabinet and cleaning it out afterwards that's a drag. This morning I made a huge pot of one of my favorite soups, roasted curry cauliflower and was able to blend it to a smooth puree right on top of the stove.

I love putting all the veggies I can fit into my soups and stews. Last night after dinner I cut a lg onion, 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery into a small dice ready to use first thing this morning to start my soup (mirepoix). Along with 1 head of cauliflower. Before I left for a double Bikram class at 5:30am I took the veggies out of the fridge to come to room temp while I was away so when I got home at 9:15am everything was ready to go.

It took about 25 minutes to roast the cauliflower and only 10 minutes to saute the mirepoix. So total cooking time was about 35 minutes, but no prep (it was already done!). My immersion blender finished the soup in a couple of minutes and 10 cups of soup later.....all pre portioned and packed....except for the big bowl I ate with some diced turkey I took out of the freezer yesterday.

Cauliflower is one of the best deals at the grocery store. Trader Joes and many "regular" grocery stores sell a whole head for less than $2. Don't worry too much about the size consistency when you cut it up for soup as long as the largest pieces aren't larger than around 1 1/2 inches. Don't forget about the core and the stem!

I turn the head upside down. When you look at the stem you will see where the hard fibrous ring surrounds the core. Cut all the way through the cauliflower on the four sides of the core, right inside of the fibrous ring. This should leave you with 5 large pieces, including the core piece. You should be able to simply snap away the bit you don't want (the woody part of the stem) from the base of the 4 larger pieces. Now just chop into smaller chunks. Remember it's all going to end up pureed, so don't stress.

Roasted Curry Cauliflower Soup

1 head of cauliflower cut into small pieces (described above)
3 tbl olive oil (2 tbl for roasting cauliflower and 1 tbl for saute)
1 lg onion, small dice
2 med carrot, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
4-6 c chicken stock
red pepper flakes
1-2 tbl curry powder
salt and pepper

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees, make sure and pre heat your 2 roasting pans too! Toss cauliflower in a large bowl with a generous pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with 2 tbl olive oil, and toss and "massage" to coat all of the cauliflower. Divide cauliflower onto the two pre heated roasting pans and cook for 15 minutes. Turn, toss cauliflower and maybe switch the positions of the pans, cook for an additional 10 minutes.

At this time heat up your soup pot with 1 tbl olive oil. Saute the onion, carrot and celery for 5-6 minutes, add chicken stock. When the cauliflower is ready add that to the soup pot with all of the ingredients, bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer partially covered for 5-10 minutes.

When to add curry powder? You can add the curry powder at one of two different stages. You can sprinkle it over the cauliflower in the last half of roasting, OR, you can sprinkle it to the sauteed vegetables, toss and toast it slightly in the hot pan before you add the stock. I don't find it matters.

With your immersion blender, blend until smooth (or the old fashioned way....wait until cool enough to handle and puree in blender in small batches) Always add more stock to the consistency that best pleases you.

I posted a super simple version of this soup a few weeks ago using basically only cauliflower, onion and stock. Both version will get you to the same end, but this one has more nutrition, and depth. I would be happy with either one, but I love to cook so when I have the time to put in that little extra I do.

Picture above: Viking immersion blender....I love commercial grade kitchen equipment!

5 comments:

Tracy said...

Tracy, I bought cauliflower this week with the intent of making your Roasted Cauliflower Soup. I'm making it tomorrow. Thanks for posting the recipe!

As for immersion blenders - oh la la...I am in love with mine. It has to be one of my favorite gadgets.

I used my pressure cooker first time this week - to cook a chicken and then make broth. I ended up with 12 cups broth to freeze. Tomorrow, I'm making a pork roast in there. Have a ton of fun with it, thanks to you!

Happy weekend! :)

Tracy Reifkind said...

Tracy,

Pork shoulder is THE best done in a pressure cooker. I'm going to be doing alot more pressure cooker stuff.


thanks again for your comments!

Tracy said...

Just had the Roasted Caulifower Curry soup for lunch. We LOVED it. Fantastic recipe! I added a dash of Hungarian Paprika to it. :)

fawn said...

What?! You never had an immersion blender before? Crazy!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Fawn,

I know! It's crazy how cheap I can be sometimes! That's why I had to wait for Santa! lol