When I was in high school I used to do a snow dance so that it school would be canceled. It involved hopping around on one foot and sticking my head outside bent over backwards and screaming SNOW SNOW SNOW. I had an 80% hit rate. When you’re 17 and waking up for 5:30 swim practices almost every day, nothing says lovin like sub zero temperatures and black ice. I did absolutely anything I could think of to get to sleep in.
I may have over done it in my youth, because I swear the winters in the North East are getting worse and worse. I feel like a war hero every time I get through another winter. I survived the winter of 2015. oof.
Just when I was entertaining the thought of moving to Los Angeles (I know I know…), today it hit 61 degrees. There’s still a large mound of slowly melting snow next to my garage, but I stepped outside in a t-shirt today, spread my arms like Rose DeWitt Bukater (I’m flying Jack, I’m flyyyyyying) and thought thank $#%$ing god for springtime.
For the next few weeks, I am going to cook or invent nothing but celebratory food. I have exactly 18 days of Springtime meals before Passover gives me dry mouth– Nothing says kick up your heels it’s spring! quite like Matzah.
With seven actual days left in winter, this is likely/happily my last chance to make a nice hearty soup, so tonight, I am making two-toned roasted cauliflower soup. A bit involved, but very tasty!
I couldn’t resist not buying these two. Have you ever seen a creamsicle colored Cauliflower? Or a duo of purple and orange cauliflowers making sweet cauliflower love? Neither had I!
Can you believe these cauliflowers came like this?!! Me neither. I assembled them…
To make this soup, first gather your ingredients. You’ll need 2 cauliflower heads-each a different color; 1/2 sweet potato-roasted; 1 onion sliced; 2 cups of milk (any type-I used 1/2 cream, and 1/2 skim milk because it’s what I had); 4 cups of unsalted chicken stock; 6 tbsp olive oil; 1 1/2 tbsp of fresh sage; 1 tsp of salt; 1 1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper.
To make two toned soup, you have to run two separate cooking processes so that the two cauliflowers remain separate and the colors do not mix. This means that once you have assembled your ingredients, you will need to halve everything and create two separate trays–1 for the purple soup and 1 for the orange/pink soup.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. If you happen to have two ovens, preheat them both to 450 F. Clean your sweet potato. Slice your onions, and remove the cauliflower florets from the stems of the cauliflower leaping the purple florets separate from the pink/orange ones. Rinse the cauliflower and set aside briefly.
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. We’ll use the cookie sheet to roast the potato and the cauliflower together in the oven. Poke some holes in the sweet potato and place in the corner of the cookie sheet. In the center of the cookie sheet place a large dutch oven. Inside the dutch oven place 1/2 of the oil and the florets of one of the heads of the cauliflower (let’s say…the purple ones!).
In a separate dutch oven, add the rest of the cauliflower (all of the pink/orange one) and the other 1/2 of the oil. In both dutch ovens, make sure the cauliflower is well-coated in oil. Then pop the potato and the purple cauliflower dutch oven into one of your ovens for 50 minutes and the pink/orange cauliflower dutch oven into the other oven for 50 minutes. If you only have one oven, you can try and organize your rack so that both dutch ovens fit. Alternatively, you can roast the vegetables in smaller oven-proof glass containers and then add them to soup pots/dutch ovens when you are finished the roasting process.
While the cauliflowers are roasting, every 15 minutes or so, open the oven and very carefully move the cauliflower around so that it does not burn. When you are finished roasting, the cauliflower should look like the photo below. I combined the two colors just for the photo, but you should keep them separate!
Now, here’s where your real multitasking skills come into play. Place two separate, very large skillets or sauce pans onto your stove. If you are using dutch ovens, you can put those on the stove and continue your cooking. I found that using a large soup pot made it easier to cook the cauliflower. Dump the purple roasted cauliflower in one and the pink/orange cauliflower in the other. Add two cups of stock to one pan and two cups of stock to the other. Add 1/2 of the sliced onion and 1/2 of the roasted sweet potato to each.
Remove from the heat and using a blender (you can pop the cauliflower into an upright blender or use an immersion blender), pulse the ingredients to slowly blend them together to make a nice, thick, smooth soup. Empty your soup into a container to keep the colors separate and repeat the blending process with other soup.
Add the milk to the individual soups and incorporate with a spatula. Sprinkle half of the chopped sage into each soup container.
To combine the soups, tilt the bowl towards you and spoon half a cup of soup into the bowl. Clean your ladle and fill it with the other soup. Very quickly…as soon as you untilt the bowl and let it sit flat on the counter, spoon the other soup color into the bowl. Do not wait for the soup to settle. Be quick…like lightning…like a fox.
Sprinkle with some remaining sage. Or if you’re daring with some fried sage leaves. Enjoy!
- 2 heads of cauliflower (two different colors)
- 1 onion sliced
- 2 cups of milk (cream, milk, skim milk etc.)
- 4 sprigs of fresh sage leaves minced
- 6 tbsp of olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp salt (and more to taste)
- 1½ tsp freshly ground pepper (and more to taste)