03 February 2014

Cauliflower Soup with Lime


I am in the process of reviewing all posts on my blog for relevancy and repetition. A blog that is about to mark its 8th birthday (June 11) simply needs updating, no matter how many minor facelifts it has had. I pondered throwing in the towel completely but could not bear to do so. I have put too much into this project, which started as an attempt to educate myself about blogging so I could teach my students - college freshmen and sophomores - how to write a news blog. Besides, I no longer have a real job, and I can now give this blog the time and thought I think it deserves. In reviewing early posts, I found a few that merited reposting or updating. This is one of them. From early 2007:

When I was four years old I refused to eat white food.

I drank milk if I could not see it, which meant I had a covered cup with a cartoon character's face on top. The straw was inserted in its mouth.

Mashed potatoes? Only if I could not see them. Bread had to be toasted golden brown and slathered with peanut butter or cinnamon so no trace of white could be seen. I am not certain if my parents resorted to blindfolding me for meals, but they may well have done that.

Today I eat white foods in moderation. I've learned, like everyone else, that brightly colored foods are higher in nutrients. You can imagine how delighted I was to discover that colored cauliflower has finally made it northern Wisconsin. Of course, I had to buy some. What a great way to get kids to eat!

The first thing I made was a purple-and-green cauliflower salad with carrots and red peppers. I topped it with my Honey Dijon Dressing (see Jan. 13 post) and sprinkled a few bacon bits and some chopped cashews on top. Pretty good for a slapdash sort of thing.

Then I went upmarket, stumbling across this Lime-y Cauliflower Soup on Epicurious.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Roast the cumin seed in a small dry skillet over medium heat until it is fragrant. Once it has been roasted, place it in a mortar and pestle or in a wax paper bag and crush it until in becomes a coarse powder. Note: I could not find cumin seed, so I roasted cumin powder.

Cook the onion in butter in a small but sturdy saucepan over medium heat until the onion is softened, but not caramelized. Add cauliflower, broth and water and simmer until cauliflower is tender. (Watch it carefully as adding more water than the recipe calls for will result in a thin soup. )

Next, puree small batches of the mixture in a blender, until the contents of the pan are liquid and creamy. Add the half and half and lime juice; stir. (At this point, I added just a dash of fleur de sel.) Sprinkle on cumin.

Note: This is a delicate soup well suited to a cold winter day in Wisconsin when thoughts of spring are inevitable. It would pair well with an equally delicate white table wine and a light meal of chicken and rice. It is also a perfect lunch soup.

To my palate, cumin has citrus-y undertones and is a good mate for lime.

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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great story, mimi. How funny about white foods. Actually, you were probably onto something, even that little, as white starch is a "bad carb" these days.

I'm officially addicted to your blog and my son is quickly becoming a fan, too. He just made me scroll through your postings to see which of your recipes I could make for him based on ingredients in our frig. Ha!

p.s. Thanks for the "F2B", you can see I've officially taken on the nickname.

Kalyn said...

Mimi, have you checked Chez Pim? You won a prize!

Mimi said...

I saw that Kalyn, and I contacted the people I was supposed to but have not heard anything back yet. I suppose they are overwhelmed with e-mails. I'll give them a few days and try again.

Lydia said...

I love some white foods, like mashed potatoes and fish, but I've never been able to eat cauliflower, regardless of color. For me, just the word cauliflower evokes the smell of that poor vegetable boiling away in a Corningware pot, having been set on the stove when my mother came home from work at 3:30, awaiting the dinner we would eat at 6:00 sharp. Two and a half hours of boiling cauliflower...well, the smell memory has done me in for life.

Mimi said...

F2B, I am happy to the name is sticking. Kids are smart:I was on to something. Along the same lines, I am glad you are bringing up a little foodie. He sounds adorable.

Mimi said...

Yes, Lydia, the smell is awful: Old hallways in bad parts of town with the sound of loud TVs and people fighting.

That's what it reminds me of. But oh, this soup takes cauliflowere to new levels!

Jann said...

What beautiful vegetables. I think I could have soup every evening-and especially if it looked like this!

Kristen said...

I love cauliflower and have never seen it in various colors. Very cool!

Not eating white foods as a child. I have a friend whose 5 year old daughter has similar eating habits...thankfully my kids aren't put off by color, at least yet!

Mimi said...

I liked the soup, Jann, but my husband was not sold on it. It has a delicate flavor.

Kristen, there was orange cauliflower, too. Next time!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Kids and there pickyness are the thing of legends. Actually, picking a color to not eat is fairly common among kids. My sister would only eat white bread with butter and white sugar on it for about two years. One of my favorites was not eating anything that was broken: cookies had to be whole. Working in a children's hospital, I got to see some pretty funny eating habits.
I do love cauliflower but haven't ever tried soup. The lime and cumin sound really excellent with it.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Mimi,

I just saw your comment on Terry's blog and liked it so much! Tks for the lovely words!

I'll be glad to have you around my blog.

I love cauliflower - this recipe is perfect!

veuveclicquot said...

Your story is so funny!!! It made my day reading it.

Interestingly, I've only seen the green cauliflower around here, not the purple or orange. Bummer. Do they taste any different from the regular cauliflower, or is their only distinction their color?

Mimi said...

Hi Patricia, I've just published a post linking to your blog and Terry's — I'd planned a link to his and then saw that he had a link to yours so. . .

I love making new food friends! Thanks for visiting.

VC, I was hoping for some sort of taste variation, but I did not find any.

I'm waiting now for blue cauliflower. Glad to make you laugh!

Lu said...

Mimi, I made this soup tonight. It was really delish. I made a nice souffle to go alongside. The cumin seeds and lime were divine!

Mimi said...

Thanks for the feedback, Lu.

I liked it and just finished it up today for lunch. My husband thought it was so-so.

I ate it with a chicken salad that I will post about in a day or so.

Carole said...

Fantastic colour on those cauli's! Thanks for linking up to Food on Friday. Cheers

Christine said...

A beautiful update post, as are all of your updates and posts these days. Good going!

Mimi Johns said...

This was such a delicate soup. It seemed appropriate for the week before Valetine's Day.

I suppose reposting isn't a recommended blogging tactic, but I have seen it done. I thought this recipe might be worth sharing again. Sort of an experiment to see if social media - which wasn't around so much 7 years ago - might make a difference.