Creamed Cauliflower Soup

16 Nov

Who needs bouquets when your loved one brings you cauliflower?!

Recently Big Man came home with one of his horticultural “surprises” for me.  Five cauliflowers!  We both love cauliflower, but after giving some away and eating cauliflower with vinaigrette, buttered cauliflower and cauliflower cheese, we were still looking at a cooked cauliflower in the fridge wondering what to do with it.

Inspired by a potato and garlic soup recipe over at Rufus´ Food and Spirits Guide, this cauliflower´s destiny was decided.  Of course, I was in a rush and didn´t have exactly the ingredients to hand, so I made do.

I loved the idea of the roasted garlic, but as I had nothing else to cook in the oven, it felt extravagant to turn the oven on just to roast one head of garlic.   I decided to experiment and try to cook it in the microwave to see how it turned out.  I usually use my microwave to store my bread in (a kind of electrical bread bin if you like!) so for me to actually cook something in my microwave is rather unusual…

I put a whole head of garlic in on medium for about 3 minutes and I was amazed when it was done.  Of course, there were no lovely toasty edges, but the garlic smelt great and each clove was perfectly soft and ready to pop out of its skin to use.

I put the cloves of garlic in a saucepan with a little olive oil and warmed them through whilst mashing them with the back of a spoon.  I added the cooked cauliflower broken into florets, a teaspoon of ground cumin seeds and covered with vegetable stock (although water would also be fine).  After bringing it to the boil I reduced the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

In the absence of cream I then added half a cup of milk and a tablespoon of mascarpone cheese and then blended with a stick blender.

A few left over rashers of bacon which I also cooked in the microwave – I was feeling adventurous – were cut into small pieces and sprinkled over to finish the dish off.  I put a kitchen towel on a plate, put the bacon on top and covered with another sheet of kitchen towel and cooked on high for 5 minutes.  This gave me beautifully dry, crisp bacon, and no greasy pan to wash.

Perfect!  And I now officially love my microwave.


38 Responses to “Creamed Cauliflower Soup”

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide November 16, 2011 at 16:00 #

    You are a genius. I would’ve just wasted the energy. And mascarpone for cream. Yep, that’ll do. This sounds and looks great! Thanks for the shout out.

    • Chica Andaluza November 16, 2011 at 18:52 #

      You´re welcome – you´re recipe was so lovely and inspiring!

  2. Mad Dog November 16, 2011 at 16:11 #

    5 cauliflowers!
    That sounds delicious, though I’d pass on the microwave 😉

    • Chica Andaluza November 16, 2011 at 18:53 #

      I do tend to get an excess of vegetables! I´m not a huge microwave fan, as I say it usually sits there and acts as my bread bin, but it was handy for this!

  3. cookerann November 16, 2011 at 16:17 #

    mmmmm…this looks yummy! I am also laughing about the whole microwave thing, as I too use mine to store crackers (I have a VERY small kitchen), and almost never use it to cook! I will say I bought a little toaster oven about a year ago and I LOVE♥ it. Perfect for small scale cooking, baking, reheating, etc.

  4. ChgoJohn November 16, 2011 at 16:32 #

    This really does sound so warm and comforting. Thank you, Tanya, for sharing the recipe and letting us be a part of your blossoming love affair with your microwave. I’m getting all misty-eyed over here.

    • Chica Andaluza November 16, 2011 at 18:54 #

      I think it may be a fleeting romance, or perhaps just a series of short dates..will let you know how the love affair goes 🙂

  5. thecompletecookbook November 16, 2011 at 16:35 #

    Oh Tanya, you are a genius! Brilliant recipe and how clever to do the garlic and bacon the way you did in the Microwave. Will be toasted your cleverness this evening!
    🙂 Mandy

    • Chica Andaluza November 16, 2011 at 18:54 #

      Am getting all big headed over here…may have to toast my cleverness too. Where´s the corkscrew?!

  6. JamieAnne November 16, 2011 at 16:57 #

    How awesome! My microwave gets pretty frequent use, microwave popcorn is a tween/teen favorite.

    Your soup sounds great!

  7. Florence November 16, 2011 at 18:07 #

    Hi T, Hope your man doesn’t get jealous of all the attention you are giving to your new found love! lol! I bought my first cauliflowers of the season in the village today! yey! What about deep fat frying it in batter.
    Regards Florence x
    P.S. Medlars are ready.

    • Chica Andaluza November 16, 2011 at 18:56 #

      Oh yes, cauliflower fritters! With mustard mayonnaise…damn, will have to send out for more cauliflowers 😉 Will call you about the medlars – how exciting!

  8. Rosemary Mullally November 16, 2011 at 18:10 #


  9. Food,Photography & France November 16, 2011 at 18:40 #

    This is serendipity – I’m looking a large cauliflower in the eyes and I hadn’t thought of turning him into soup, but now I am. I only heat coffee and plates in the microwave, so I’ve got to break new ground and try the garlic thing. Excellent post – got me thinking.

    • Chica Andaluza November 16, 2011 at 18:57 #

      It seems like a lot of us have microwave but hardly ever use them – they have their uses though, as you say. Anyway, I´m sure your cauliflower will thank you for turning him into soup!

  10. chaiselongue1 November 16, 2011 at 18:50 #

    The crispy bacon looks so delicious on the creamy soup! I gave up having a microwave years ago, so I’ll have to manage with the greasy pans!

    • Chica Andaluza November 16, 2011 at 18:57 #

      To be honest, once it breaks down (and it will, everything electrical breaks pretty quickly in our house) I probably won´t replace it…

  11. spicegirlfla November 16, 2011 at 19:53 #

    wow…never thought to “roast” garlic in the microwave!! I guess it’s a great way to soften the flavor!! Nice to know if I’m ever in a pinch!! A nice soup…I love when dishes just fall together perfectly with what we have on hand. It looks so comforting and warm.

    • Chica Andaluza November 16, 2011 at 21:13 #

      It was a case of making do…and it turned out well!

  12. sportsglutton November 16, 2011 at 23:12 #

    Sometimes a microwave does come in handy. Way to create something different/tasty with the materials on hand. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza November 17, 2011 at 09:49 #

      You´re right – although I use it so rarely I think I probably wouldn´t miss it (but where would I put my bread?!)

  13. Karen November 17, 2011 at 01:46 #

    A great sounding recipe that I can’t wait to try. I think of my microwave as a tool rather than a cooking appliance. I can put olive oil and garlic along with any herbs in a bowl and microwave for 15 seconds and have lovely infused oil. Bacon with paper toweling on both sides cooks crisp when you don’t need the bacon fat for a recipe.

    • Chica Andaluza November 17, 2011 at 09:46 #

      It seems a lot of us think the same – I love the tip about the olive oil infused with garlic and herbs. Great idea!

  14. TBM November 17, 2011 at 09:51 #

    I am not a huge cauliflower fan, but I have a feeling that I would love your soup. It looks and sounds tasty.

    • Chica Andaluza November 17, 2011 at 09:59 #

      That´s funny as when I made it I said to Big Man I could prepare something else for him as, although he loves cauliflower, he´s not mad keen on blended soups. Well, he gobbled it up and asked if I had more the next day!

      • TBM November 17, 2011 at 10:06 #

        I’m the opposite. I hate veggies, but love creamed veggie soups. I think it is a texture thing for me. I may have to make this soup. My better half loves loves loves cauliflower.

      • Chica Andaluza November 17, 2011 at 10:27 #

        Isn´t it funny – I have a friend like that so when she comes to us I blend some of the soup for her, leave some chunky for Big Man and I eat a bit of both!

  15. TBM November 17, 2011 at 10:37 #

    That is so kind of you to cater to everyone!

  16. Tandy November 17, 2011 at 10:39 #

    I love the microwave tip for the garlic – what a great discovery 🙂 Yummy soup!

    • Chica Andaluza November 17, 2011 at 10:48 #

      It´s great, I´ve done it a few times now. Obviously the timing depends on the size of the garlic bulb. I put a small one in and it was on high (by mistake) and next thing I had a kitchen full of garlic scented smoke 😦

  17. gardenfreshtomatoes November 17, 2011 at 13:46 #

    That’s a great tip on the garlic! Now I have no excuse…the old one being,”Rats! I forgot to roast it, and I don’t have an extra hour before dinner…”

  18. foodblogandthedog November 17, 2011 at 15:49 #

    I love cauliflower soup, The Washer Up made one last week with manchego cheese it was amazing! Our microwave broke a year ago and we have never replaced it. I used to use it for warming plates!! Quick roasted garlic is tempting though, then I could put it in everything!!

    • Chica Andaluza November 17, 2011 at 21:13 #

      Cauliflower and cheese…well, they were made for each other! Maybe the manufacturers of microwaves should market them as plate warmers or bread bins as that´s what we all seem to use them for 🙂

  19. thefooddoctor November 21, 2011 at 10:17 #

    so I am not the only one who gets 10 pound of fruits or vegetables at one go!
    Thanx for the tip about the microwave, can’t wait to try roasting garlic in it

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