Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cauliflower Soup with Seared Scallops

I can't be the only one trying to figure out what to do with leftover cauliflower. I mean unless you're a family of eight, you must know what I'm talking about. I want to encourage my daughter's love of cauliflower, but have you seen the size of it these days? Is it just me or is it getting bigger? Our modest family of three can't possibly go through all that before it starts turning brown and icky.

This soup certainly isn't the answer every week, but it was damn good last night. I especially enjoyed the sweet scallop in the middle. I love scallops, so it was kind of like the prize in the cracker jacks (better than an Abraham Lincoln fun facts sheet, but not as good as a tattoo).

Makes 6 servings

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, sliced
3 3/4 cups (1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces cauliflower, from 1 large head)
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
coarse kosher salt
freshly ground white pepper

1 leek (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 sea scallops, patted dry
2 tablespoons purchased lemon-infused grapeseed oil
finely chopped fresh chives

Make soup:
1.      Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

2.      Add cauliflower, broth, and cream. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer gently until cauliflower is tender, about 18 minutes.

3.      Puree soup using an immersion blender until smooth. Season soup with salt and white pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.

To serve:
4.      Blanch leek in small saucepan of boiling salted water for 1 minute; drain. Place some of leek in center of each bowl.

5.      Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Sear until brown and just opaque in center, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Place 1 scallop on leek in each bowl.

6.      Ladle soup around scallop, drizzle with 1 teaspoon lemon oil, and sprinkle with chives.

slightly adapted from Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar and Grill

chopping the onion
sliced garlic (I upped it to 2 cloves)
leftover cauliflower (and that's after we ate it twice with dinner last week)
onions and garlic cooking
cauliflower, broth and cream added
cauliflower tender
blending with the thunderstick
smooth and velvety (it really is)
leek rings
blanching leeks
searing the scallops
leeks in bowl
scallop on top of leeks
cauliflower soup in

The original recipe has caviar on top of the scallop. I tried caviar
only once and didn't like it (of course, who knows, it may have been
horrible caviar), but I still left it off, just in case I still don't like it.
oil drizzled

My grocery store didn't have any lemon infused grape seed oil, so I used
what I had (I zested a lemon and let the zest sit for about 2 hours in extra
virgin olive oil, then strained it). I probably should have used a
no-taste oil, but I didn't think the flavors would clash (and they didn't).

My daughter liked this soup (sans the scallop, oil and chives). Still.


Micheleraenichols said...

Well, I have been craving this very soup for many months, after being left very disappoint at a very expensive restaurant...what bothers me most about dining out is when descriptions dot represent the dish... My mouth watered in anticipation of the seared scallops, which upon presentation where blonder than Marilyn Monroe, they seemed to be cooked by the heat of the soup, non of the caramelisation that a good scallop should have... But this dear Bloatal Recall,was Magnificant...leeks are too expensive so I used baby spinach leaves wilted by the soup, and zest of fresh lemon...thank you...so very good...mmmwwwah xox

Susan said...

Being let down at a restaurant is so disappointing, especially when you don't go out to eat often. I'm so glad this could satisfy your craving! :)

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