Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Creamy cauliflower soup – DHSPC #5

When I think of Cauliflower, I can hear in my head my mum saying “Oh no..no English vegetable today”. I don’t know what to call us but I guess orthodox vegetarian seems just right,( but then again here, in UK I am not considered a vegetarian as I eat milk products). Makes me think should I call us convenient vegetarians??Anyways, back home, vegetables like carrot, cabbage, cauliflower etc were called “English vegetables” probably because they are grown in hilly areas where English settlers lived in pre-Independent India. Apart from egg free, meet free diet English vegetables was a part of indulgent meals only allowed on certain days. I never got to know why but I was happy at least they were allowed.My granny never ever used any of these. She didn’t even use onions or garlic. I guess since my parents were raised in post-independent India, they ate these special vegetables but only on occasions. The not-so-humbl- cauliflower & dishes like cauliflower curry/bhaji, cauliflower paruppusili, cauliflower manchurian ..hold a very special place in my heart. So when the spud guy calls it a drab- white- cruciform vegetable, as I order my spud with cauli & cheese, I wonder how much, where we are raised makes a difference on what we eat!!
I wanted to join the Donna Hay Styling and Photography Challenge for a while now and the minute I saw the soup I knew I had to make it. My suggestion is make a double batch to keep you warm through the bone chilling nights. 
The original photo is by  Ben Dearnley and styling is done by Justine Poole. The recipe comes from DHM #51. I too struggled in finding the right balance of light as there was too much light on the day I shot this. In the original the light is from the right,  while I had diifculty in creating a dark atmosphere on bright sunny day. I tried covering the window and used dark absorbers. Moreover I had no props in blue so had to improvise with the black ones I had. I couldn't fold the black material to form crease as it was bulky. I crumbled some parmesan to replicate the marks in the original. I am glad at least I tried :-). Thanks simone for finding such challenging images and simple recipes for the DH challenge. It keeps me going.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup
From Donna Hay Magazine
§ 25g butter
§ 1 brown onion (chopped)
§ 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
§ 1 bay leaf
§ 1,5 head cauliflower (or 1,5 kg, chopped)
§ 500g potatoes (starchy potatoes, peeled and chopped)
§ 750ml veg stock
§ 500ml milk
§ 125 ml single cream
§ sea salt
§ cracked white pepper
§ 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme 
Parmesan cauliflower crumbs 
§ 100g cauliflower (chopped)
§ 2 tablespoons olive oil
§ 20g parmesan (finely grated)
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook for 5-8 minutes or until onion has softened. Add the cauliflower, potato, stock and milk, increase heat to medium and cook for 25-30 minutes or until cauliflower and potato is tender. Remove from the heat and, using a hand-held blender, blend until smooth. Stir through the cream, salt and pepper.
While the soup is cooking, make the parmesan cauliflower crumbs. Place the cauliflower, oil and parmesan in a bowl and toss to combine. Heat a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Cook the cauliflower, oil and parmesan in a bowl and toss to combine. Heat a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Cook the cauliflower, stirring for 2 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Top soup with cauliflower crumbs to serve.


Simones Kitchen said...

So glad you managed to join Arti! And such a great result too. I think the idea of these challenges is to make you think about things and the fact that you might have different items is really not that important. Love your results!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

You might not have been able to re-create all the aspects but your photograph looks good. I like the colours of your bowl.
And I know what you mean by "English" veggies. I don't think my grandmother ever cooked a cauliflower!

Sunshinemom said...

I like what you have done. That bowl is so cute!

Harini of Tongue Ticklers

mangiawithmario said...

Hi Arthi, my name is Mario and I found your blog through UKFBA. I am a member though I am from and live in California. First of all, your photos are awesome. Your use of lighting is incredible. I also enjoy your writing style. Personal and humorous. Plus the recipe sounds yummy. Very good!
I also write a blog about food but with my twist on people and relationships. Please visit. Maybe follow. That would be cool.

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