December 13, 2010
Oh tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy.
‘Twas in the moon of this particular wintertime that I just can’t seem to get enough of Christmas music. Hymns, carols, Jingle Bell Rock, You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch…you name it, I’ve been belting it out.
I know it’s become fashionable to berate the holiday season, to dread, to preemptively tense one’s shoulders, to decide ahead of time that things will go wrong and family will be dreadful, to pretty much be grumpy from Thanksgiving until New Year’s. But not me. Not this year.
This blogger is filled with the holiday spirit. The magic! The cheer! The food! The party dresses! Last weekend, there were latkes. This weekend, there will be a Christmas tree. The list of friends and family I’ll get to see (that I don’t normally) in the next few weeks is long and lush. How can I not feel exuberant?
It very well may be the most wonderful time of the year. Or at least, I’m going to treat it that way.
This recipe is incredibly simple to make but stole the show at our last “Blog Day.” Friends kept returning for bowls of seconds and thirds, and pretty soon there was no soup left.
1 head cauliflower florets, broken into 1-2 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 yellow onions, peeled & diced
a knot of ginger, about 2 inches long, chopped
2 T butter
2 T olive oil, plus a bit extra
1 tsp. cumin
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
salt, to taste
In a heavy-bottomed stock pot, sauté the onions and ginger in the butter and olive oil until fragrant. Add the carrots and cauliflower and crank up the heat in order to get a bit of color on the vegetables. Once the cauliflower has browned to the desired degree, pour in the stock and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, adding cumin and some salt.
In a small saucepan, warm a bit of oil and “bloom” the saffron, releasing its flavor and color. Add to the soup mixture. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Use a stick blender or transfer the soup in batches to puree the soup until smooth. Taste and add salt, if needed.