Fast and Frugal: Rustic Cauliflower Soup
|Rustic Cauliflower Soup with St. Paulin Cheese|
Across from Square George Cain, a lovely little park tucked behind Musee Carnavalet, is the Swedish Cafe, part of the Swedish Cultural Center on Rue Payenne.
At mid afternoon, when we visited the museum and the park, the little cafe was deserted and this captivated me, and fired my imagination. I saw the buggy and imagined a young Swedish mother, the wife of a minor diplomat perhaps, visiting with her child. The daily special, said the menu board, was cauliflower soup and I longed for a cup, and a rest in this little sanctuary. But we had shopping and packing to do, and thus a bus to catch. I shot a hasty photo.
|The cafe at the Swedish Cultural Center, Paris|
Rustic Cauliflower Soup
- 1 medium cauliflower, chopped
- 3 cups chicken stock*
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup St. Paulin cheese, in chunks
- dash freshly ground pepper
- pinch fleur de sel
*I make chicken stock using the carcass of a rotisserie chicken, some onion skins and peels, some thyme, and one garlic clove.
Using a large sauce pan or smaller stock pot, cook the cauliflower in 1 cup of the chicken stock until tender. Allow it to cool, drain and then reserve the liquid. Run it through a blender to get a slight puree.
In another saucepan, soften the onion in butter. Add the cauliflower puree, then add flour and milk. Allow the mix to boil and thicken. Then, turning the heat down, add the cheese until the cheese melts. Taste before adding seasoning.
Cauliflower soup does not need much embellishment to satisfy and provide a sense of comfort. I often add a dash of fresh thyme, or even a tiny pinch of orange rind.
This was fine and comforting as it was, with just a few small garlic croutons floating on top.