Pacific Northwest | April 18, 2004Pacific Northwest MagazineApril 18, 2004seattletimes.com home
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PLANT LIFE
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ON FITNESS
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NOW & THEN
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PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


Cauliflower Soup

Serves 8

"I have never much liked cauliflower," admits Paul Bertolli. "I was surprised to find, however, that cauliflower makes an extraordinary puréed soup." This simple formula exemplifies the command of technique and attention to the peculiar qualities of a simple ingredient that give Bertolli's dishes a powerful resonance.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion (6 ounces) sliced thin
1 head very fresh cauliflower, about 1-1/2 pounds
Salt, to taste
5 1/2 cups hot water, divided
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat without letting it brown for 15 minutes.

2. Add the cauliflower, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew the cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes.

3. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. In this time it will thicken slightly.

4. Thin the soup with 1/2 cup hot water. Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

From "Cooking by Hand" by Paul Bertolli

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