Roasted Cauliflower and Apple Soup
I’ve been following the Beekman 1802 website the past year, and in that time, I’ve read a bit to expand my knowledge of all things heirloom — seeds, farming, gardening, animals and more. This Christmas, I purchased heirloom seeds for everyone in my immediate family to accompany their presents. My brothers got the 1802-1850 vegetable collection, my dad got the tomato seed collection, my mom got the the flower collection, and my mother-in-law got the historic zinnia collection. I purchased all of the above for my husband and me to plant this spring, and I added “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” to my wish list. The cookbook, written by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell with Sandy Gluck, is a beautiful collection of recipes for every season, to be passed on from generation to generation. I gratefully received the cookbook as a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law and I got to work with it right away, reading and bookmarking and cooking.
One reason I was drawn to this cookbook is its simple and genius organization by season. Like The Fabulous Beekman Boys, my husband and I strive to have an understanding of where our food comes from, and we try to eat seasonally as much as possible. I thought it would be great to have this addition to my cookbook collection because I love flipping to the index in all my books and finding recipes using ingredients from my CSA, market trips, Lexington Co-op finds, etc. With that said, there’s certainly some flexibility here, and to illustrate that, the first recipe I made from the book is actually a “fall starters” recipe, rather than a winter one. When I noticed there are still so many delicious apples at the Co-op, I thought it would be fun to make a soup with apples as one of the main ingredients.
I am tempted to call this “Roasted Cauliflower, Apple and Ginger Soup,” but I’m going to stick with the name from the book, and just let you know it has a great ginger bite to it. Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Cauliflower and Apple Soup
- 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
- 2 sweet apples, such as Crispins or Northern Spy (3/4 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 onion, cut into 8 chunks
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
- Grated nutmeg, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Cut off and discard the very tough bottom of the cauliflower. Halve the cauliflower lengthwise; then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, including the central stalk. Transfer to a roasting pan along with the apples, onion, ginger, garlic and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the oil and toss to coat.
- Roast for 40 minutes, tossing the vegetables occasionally, until the cauliflower is lightly browned and the onion is tender.
- Working in batches, transfer some of the vegetable mixture and some of the broth to a blender (don’t fill more than half full for each batch). Puree until very smooth, about 3-4 minutes. As you work, transfer the puree to a saucepan.
- Place the saucepan over low heat to reheat the puree. Add salt to taste. Serve garnished with a grating of nutmeg.
Especially as the temperature is dropping, this soup makes a wonderful start to any dinner, or can be a meal in itself for lunch. When I made this the other night, my friend, Kim, brought a delicious multigrain baguette and an outstanding brie to accompany the soup. I highly recommend having this soup with your favorite crusty bread so you can soak up the remnants in the bowl. I also served roasted winter squash with pine nuts on the side.
The heat of the ginger aftertaste makes a lovely complement to the sweetness of the roasted apples and cauliflower. My husband noted it really tastes spicy from the ginger, so if you don’t care for too much of that flavor, you should cut the ginger in half.
As the recipe in the book notes, the soup is rich and creamy, yet has no cream or butter in it. Swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock and you can easily make this a vegan dish.
I hope you enjoy this dish and consider exploring the Beekman 1802 site. It offers a great deal of inspiration to us about seasonal living!