Flowers in the fall? Cauliflowers that is…. The long lazy days of summer are over and the cold is creeping in and with that hunkering down on the couch, good book in hand, bitchy kitty in lap, comes a good bowl or cup of soup. Not the kind of cup of soup that comes in a powered form from a box at the grocery store but the kind that is made with fresh veggies.
It has recently occurred to me that the Czechs or perhaps Europeans in general have an arsenal of single vegetable soup recipes on hand. This probably comes with often having only one good vegetable available in abundance at a time, and so they made do… and with me at least… that tradition carries on because I love all those soups. Often I change them a bit, not always intentionally, sometimes I remember them wrong, or run out of something so have to change it up a bit. But nevertheless, a good soup is always comforting.
Here’s a soup for you… I honestly can’t remember if it’s based in my Czech roots but I’ve been making it for years so even if it isn’t Czech it’s made by one!
I don’t have exact measurements for this one… because I’ve never measured… but it’s simple enough that it typically tastes the same each time I make it.
Bring out a medium sized soup pot. Add in a couple of diced potatoes and cover generously with water. Sprinkle some salt and caraway seeds (Mmmm my favourite, though master hates them). Boil the potatoes and while they are cooking chop up a whole cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Once the potatoes have softened a little bit (they will be over cooked but that’s okay by me you can choose not to overcook here then just put all the veggies in at the same time) then add the cauliflower. Cook until the veggies are soft. While the veggies are cooking, mix up a rue by frying a couple of tablespoons in butter and oil (about 2-3 tablespoons of butter/oil to 2-3 tablespoons of flour) until just slightly browned then add to the soup. This time I brought out the hand blender and whipped it so that the soup is creamy but you can choose to leave in chunks it tastes just as good. Lastly, and this is the best part. Because I blended it I’m adding some croutons and shredded Swiss cheese. A little bit of crunch from the croutons and the saltiness of the cheese make this soup amazing.
Swiss cheese isn’t one I’d ever slice up and eat, it’s just not one of those cheeses that I’d enjoy that way, but trust me if you grate it into a hot soup something happens to it that makes it all melty and stringy and yumaliscious.
Enjoy! By the way, this is easily made gluten free if you just leave out the rue… the potatoes and cauliflower will thicken it sufficiently without it if you blend it.