Monthly Archives: September 2010

>Soup, a long time coming.

>

I used to get this soup at a restaurant in GR we enjoy named Corez. I was kind of obsessed with it, which is saying something for a vegetable soup (lemme tell ya). The soup was a smoked cauliflower with white beans and kale. Then they took it off the menu because it was summer so soup was innappropriate and because they’re the kind of awesome place that changes their menu from time to time.

So, white beans= easy, kale=easy, smoked cauliflower……… yeah.

Step 1: assemble everything for a smoker…
We followed these directions from a favorite blog of mine
The Chubby Vegetarian / Smoked Garlic

We tracked down a restaurant supply store for a hotel pan with lid and a small wire rack to fit in it, found a selection of woodchips at the local hardware store, figured out how to rig the thing so that the rack didn’t sit on the burning chips. All of this took longer than you think, maybe a month. I’m busy, I don’t work in GR and the restaurant supply store isn’t open post business hours.


Step 2: Put chips in smoker. Put smoker on the grill. Allow it to sit until it starts smoking. Put cauliflower on it. Shut the lid with metal paper clips. Smoke for about 10min or until brown. Don’t oversmoke or it’ll make you want to die (we know from experience). DON’T TOUCH THE PAPER CLIPS WITHOUT HOT PADS. Raid the fridge for everything else that might be smokeable cause while it’s going you might as well. We also maked a smoked tomato sauce and smoked garlic. Smoking makes stuff slightly salty, it’s very interesting.

Step 3: Imitate soup recipe.
Though the Corez recipe is very elegant I’m a homecook so it came out kind of rustic (never thought it would be anyway else). Plus I like to forcefeed as many vegetables as possible. And we had a lot of produce that was approaching the end of it’s natural life. I ended up making it a lot like any other vegetable soup I might make from day to day. All amounts are guesstimates. I can advise to salt each new veggie a little bit as you add them and to use lots of garlic.

Smoked Cauliflower Soup with White Beans and Kale (a la Corez)

Ingredients
– 1 head smoked caulflower florets
– 3/4 head garlic minced
– 1/2 large yellow onion diced
– 1 cup diced green beans
– 2 diced carrots
– 1 big diced potato
– 2 large diced tomatoes
– 1 head kale washed and chopped
– 1 quart boxed veggie broth
– 1 can of Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
– 2 bay leaves
– 2 Tbsp green leafy dried herb seasoning of your choice (we use Penzey’s Green Goddess mix… thanks Liz)
– salt to taste
– lots of black pepper (to taste)
– crushed red pepper to taste
– 2 Tbsp butter+ to taste
– olive oil for cooking

Directions
1) Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add olive oil and heat till rippling.

2) Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the potato and cook until soft and slightly browned. Repeat with the garlic, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, and kale. Salt a little bit after adding each ingredient and stir constantly to avoid burning. This order is only important because the order reflects the speed by which these ingredients commonly cook. Ever had an undercooked potato? Don’t recommend it.

3) Add the veggie broth, bay leaves, pepper, hot pepper, herb seasoning, and butter. Check for salt. Add up to 2 cups of water if it’s too salty or if you just want mroe volume. Bring to a low simmer and cook 15minutes (this is the point where you futz around and do stuff like put away the laundry).

4) Add the tomatoes and beans. Return to a simmer and cook about 3 more min.

Notes
– We served it with a slice of bread toasted with shredded smoked gouda.
– If you like a thicker soup you could add a roux: use a small skillet (I use an omlette pan) and melt 1 Tbsp butter. Whisk in 1 Tbsp flour and whisk constantly until slightly browned. Add it to your soup and it will thicken up.
– Thickener No.2: shred a flour tortilla and stir it right into your soup. It will disintegrate and the soup will thicken.