You don't have to love cauliflower to love this creamy, flavorful soup. Roasting the cauliflower (you can use either fresh or frozen cauliflower....I used frozen!) creates an earthy sweetness and lovely texture. I included one blackened red pepper for additional subtle flavor and color.
Top with proteins such as seafood or chicken for a more hearty soup. I love this soup topped with crabmeat!
Prep Time: 20 minutes Yield: 4 cups
1 pound fresh or frozen cauliflower
1 large sweet red pepper, whole and uncut
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 garlic cloves, crushed
dash of red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon white pepper
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower and red pepper, in a single layer, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (for easy clean up). Drizzle vegetables with 1 tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
Place baking sheet in oven. At about the 20-25 minute mark, the red pepper will have blackened skin and be ready for removal from the oven. Take baking sheet out of oven, remove pepper and set aside. Turn cauliflower pieces over for even browning and return to the oven, continuing to roast until golden brown, cooking a total of 35-45 minutes. If you use fresh cauliflower, you may need to adjust baking time.
While cauliflower continues to bake, remove skin and seeds from red pepper. There is no need to cut the pepper as it will be very soft after removing skin.
In a medium size heavy-bottomed soup pot, over medium heat, saute the garlic in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil until garlic is fragrant, approximately 2-3 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, sugar, and and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the red pepper and vegetable or chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
Remove soup from heat. Transfer soup carefully, in batches, to a stand blender, blending until smooth. You may also use a hand immersion blender to thoroughly blend the soup. Stir in heavy cream and lemon juice. Adjust for salt and other seasonings to taste.
The soup shines on its own or with added proteins such as shrimp, crab, or chicken. Other garnish ideas include chili sauce, sour cream, almonds, wontons or croutons.