That lovely off-white puree becomes the canvas for a spray of toppings, which amplify its earthy, nutty flavors, while contrasting its creaminess: an exciting mix of meaty sauteed mushrooms, kissed with sherry vinegar and tossed with crunchy toasted hazelnuts and fresh parsley.
The resulting warm bowl of goodness is a first-class upgrade from your basic pureed vegetable soup.
Note: If possible, purchase hazelnuts that have already had their skins removed. If they are not available, once you have toasted and cooled the nuts, place them on one side of a clean kitchen towel, fold the towel over the nuts and rub vigorously to remove any loose skins. It is okay if some skins remain.
Make ahead: The soup and topping (minus the hazelnuts) may both be made up to 4 days ahead and stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. (Add the hazelnuts to the topping just before serving to keep them crunchy.)
Storage: The soup can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 4 medium shallots)
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets (about 6 cups)
- One (6-ounce) Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts (see note)
- 4 ounces mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake and chanterelles, stemmed, sliced and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
In a large pot over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they have softened a bit but have not browned, about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower, potato, broth, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the cauliflower and potato are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth, or let cool slightly and puree in 3 to 4 batches in a regular blender.
While the soup cooks, make the topping: Place the hazelnuts in a dry medium skillet over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan frequently, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a bowl and let cool. Remove the skins if necessary (see note), then coarsely chop.
Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel. Return the pan to the heat and warm 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid and start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Stir in the hazelnuts, parsley, the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle about a cup of soup into each bowl and top each with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the topping.
From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author who hosts public television’s “Ellie’s Real Good Food.” Her new cookbook “Whole in One: Complete Healthy Meals in a Single Pot, Sheet Pan or Skillet” was recently released. Learn more at elliekrieger.com.
Tested by Jacob Brogan; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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More from Voraciously:
Calories: 200; Total Fat: 14 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 600 mg; Carbohydrates: 15 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 6 g.