One of the new EVOOs that hit the store last week is Whole Herb Fennel fused olive oil and the timing could be better with the holidays upon us. It’s great for drizzling onto root vegetables and roasting but we were looking for a soup recipe to round out our menu. We’ve all had bland, steamed cauliflower before but have you ever tried roasting it? The brown, caramelized edges achieve a nutty, buttery flavor without adding any butter! Try this soup at your holiday table or as part of an intimate New Year’s Eve dinner.
- 1 large head cauliflower, broken into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons Olive This! Fennel EVOO, divided, plus extra for drizzling on each serving
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup half-and-half or milk
- freshly ground black pepper
Place oven rack in middle position and preheat to 450 degrees F.
Break cauliflower into small pieces and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour 2 tablespoons of fennel EVOO and ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt over the cauliflower pieces and toss to coat well (we used our bare hands).
Spread out cauliflower pieces into an even layer and roast in oven for about 40 minutes until browned and tender, turning half way through. When the cauliflower is done, remove from oven and set aside. Reserve a few pieces of browned cauliflower to garnish the dish when serving.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of fennel EVOO over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped garlic and onions and sauté until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the half-and-half or milk, whichever you are using. Using a stick blender, puree the soup mixture until smooth. You can also use a blender to puree the mixture but do it in batches and crack the blender lid to let steam escape. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
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