Here’s another one from my old recipe book of Martha Stewart clippings. The full name is “Cauliflower and Roasted Corn soup with Chanterelle Mushrooms (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fungus).”
The kids were to be sleeping over my mother-in-law’s so I was looking forward to making something adult-oriented. Pandagirl came home from a birthday party with a stomach ache and ended up staying home, but she was only interested in saltines and applesauce so I could continue with the menu as planned.
Jeeps was in the vicinity of DeCicco’s so I sent him in for a few ingredients, including aforementioned chanterelles which I was positive DeCicco’s would have. Alas, they didn’t. After a little debate we figured baby portabellos would probably make a good substitution. Still, Jeeps kept sending excited texts, such as, “This place rocks!” “Un-be-LEEV-able!” and my favorite, “Did you SEE the beer section?!” Did I mention DeCicco’s stocks a minimal selection of wine but has an entire long wall devoted to artisan, hand-crafted and locally brewed beer? So home came my baby came with his new suit, new shoes, shallots, mushrooms, bay leaves, fresh thyme, and a six-pack of Old Slugger – locally brewed in Milford, NY.
Cauliflower and Roasted Corn soup with Chanterelle Mushrooms
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 ears fresh corn, kernels shaved from the cob (and no, I did not. I had a bag of Trader Joe’s sweet roasted corn. I measured out 1 1/2 cups for the soup and 1 cup to roast for garnish, more on this later)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 ounces fresh chanterelle mushrooms, wiped clean (I used half my 8-oz box of baby ‘bellas, wiped clean and quartered. At the end of the day, the mushrooms were so delicious in the soup that I wished I’d used the entire box)
- 1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cut into florets. (Trim as much of the stems and core as you can, chop into pieces and use them as well.)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Cayenne pepper to taste
1. The recipe starts off with you roasting the kernels from one of the ears of corn at 400 for 5 minutes. I had my one cup of reserved corn and decided to use a trick that my friend Cyd taught me, which is to toast the kernels on the stove with salt and spice. Drain the corn and pat dry as much as possible before putting the kernels in a dry, non-stick skillet on medium-low heat. Sprinkle with salt and a pinch of paprika. As with caramelized onions, low heat and long time is the trick. Just babysit them and shake the pan every now and again. Once they are nice and browned and crunchy, set aside.
[Editor’s note – Cyd uses the toasted corn in a very nice salad of sauteed kale and red onion. Instead of paprika, sprinkle the toasting corn with cumin. Once my garden gets going I will definitely make this.]
2. Melt butter in your soup pot over medium heat, add shallots, garlic, onion. Cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, continue to cook until mushrooms soften, another 4 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pot and set aside.
3. Add unroasted corn, cauliflower, stock, bay leaves and thyme (Ms. Stewart advises to tie up the bay and thyme in cheesecloth to make a bouquet garni; if you have cheesecloth, go right ahead, but don’t sweat it – at the end you just pick out the leaves and stems by hand). Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
4. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems and discard. Working in batches in blender, or with immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Return soup to pot over medium-low heat. Stir in reserved mushrooms. Add cayenne and salt to taste. Serve garnished with toasted kernels and fresh chopped parsley. [Editor’s note – she snuck a little half-and-half into the soup.] Shut up. [Busted!!]
To go with the soup, I had a tube of Trader Joe’s crescent biscuit dough. I haven’t had these babies in years. They can’t possibly be good for you but they are sooooo good.
The soup was delicious. Even the invalid had a little bit in a ramekin, without the mushrooms. I am not a mushroom aficionado at all so I don’t know what kind of difference the chanterelles would have made, but if I ever see them in the store, I know I’ll be giving this soup another go.