In case you weren't aware via every form of social media it was beyond frigid over Valentine's Day weekend in the Northeast. I went to college in New Hampshire for four years and don't ever remember it being this cold. The only way to handle meteorologic events such as this is to make a large batch of soup and catch up on your Netflix shows. This recipe is inspired by the now defunct Flourish Baking Company that also made flavorful, comforting soups. As it was vegan, I didn't need much but I did have to get the ratios right.
The first time I made this I used parsnip, which was dumb, and used a veggie broth that was much too overpowering. The essence was lost, as was my appetite. I tried again that weekend and found this to be a near replica of the soup I so dearly miss.
It's vegan, easy, and most importantly, tasty. Don't be put off by the five bulbs of garlic. Once you roast it the flavor mellows out so it's not nearly as pungent as you might expect. The white beans make it creamy without adding dairy and are a nice complement to the other ingredients. While I miss Flourish (those lavender muffins!) I think I did right by them. Until the next dish, ciao!
You will need
1 1/2 lbs cauliflower florets
3 sprigs rosemary
5 bulbs of garlic
2 15oz cans white kidney beans
1 medium onion, diced
6 cups water
Preheat the oven to 425. Spread the cauliflower florets onto a rimmed baking tray and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning once half way through. Remove and cool.
Lower the oven temperature to 325. Remove as much of the papery skin as you can from the garlic without compromising the structural integrity of the bulb. Slice off the top of the bulb to expose as many cloves as possible. Wrap each bulb individually in tinfoil and drizzle another generous pour of oil on top. Place the bulbs on a baking sheet and roast for one hour or until brown and extremely soft. Unwrap and let cool.
In a Dutch oven, heat 2tbsp of olive oil over medium heat and add the chopped onion. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes, and stir occasionally.
Rinse and drain the beans and add to the onion. Strip the rosemary leaves from the stems and add to the bean mixture, stirring to incorporate the rosemary. Using the back of a spoon, slightly crush some of the beans so they can absorb more flavor. Let cook for 10-12 minutes.
Add the florets to the mixture and then squeeze the cloves of garlic from the skins and into the mixture (it's messy and painstaking but oddly cathartic). Stir so the ingredients can meld together.
Add three cups of water to the mixture and blend with an immersion blender (always exercise caution when blending hot liquids!!!) and add more water as needed until mixture is smooth and pureed. Add more water if you like a thinner soup.
Continue to heat on medium heat for another 20 minutes then serve.