A few weeks ago I had my family and friends over for a weekend. It is always a precious time for everybody since we all live far apart and don’t see each other often. The house is filled with laughter, crying, little and big feet tapping on my squeaky floors, conversations, and of course a mess all over, and on top of all of this commotion the lingering smells of amazing home cooking makes it all come together.
Luckily for me everyone is understanding and always participates in cooking and cleaning. We usually divide days and meals between each family, or we all cook together. Division of responsibilities not only makes it easier on the host, but also allows for trying and learning new dishes. This is how I came across this delicious cauliflower soup. My friend made it and I fell in love with it. The night she was cooking we were already enjoying ourselves and having few glasses of wine, so maybe that’s why I didn’t pay close attention to the process. Few days later I decided to make the same soup, I didn’t remember exactly the recipe but thought, "how complicated could it be," to my astonishment, the soup tasted completely different and not in a good way… I had no other choice but to ask her for the recipe, but instead of the list of ingredients and description I got a link to a blog, (whatscookinggoodlooking.com) turned out she found the soup on a blog of a girl who lives close by me in the city and who has a house out on long island as well… all of sudden I felt very connected, and since than I am a regular visitor of her blog. I made the soup again, changing and tweaking it as always, and this time the taste was what I remembered.
More important than just the process of preparing food to feed the family is the time we get to spend together while making it. I love spending time with guests in the kitchen… feeling a part of a cooking process, talking over steaming pots while knives are hard at work chopping vegetables. There is really no other room in the house I would rather be in,sharing stories, drinking wine or fresh squeezed margaritas that I make so well, they became my signature drink.
The kitchen has always been the center of gravity in my home. When I was growing up my mother chopped, blended and stirred as we sat at the kitchen table doing our homework or recounted our days at school. The kids’ job was to set up the table and cleanup after dinner. And my brother and I usually argued over who is doing what. Most nights grandparents joined us, and there were at least one or two young guests at our table, usually friends of ours whose mothers worked longer and seldom cooked. So having 6 or more people for dinner was nothing surprising in my house. These meals were the cornerstone of our family, and they continue to inspire me. I miss those days.
I feel bad for people who try to avoid the work and either hide in their rooms or sit on the side doing their own things and don’t fully participate in the whole experience. Very seldom I have a guest who comes to my house and expects to be served… honestly, those are not my favorite guests, and usually they don’t get invited the second time. I want everyone to feel at home in my house and this comes with doing some chores around the kitchen. Too bad we don’t raise animals…. I would keep my guests busy all day long. So think twice before you accept my invitation for a “ relaxing weekend in my house “.
1 large cauliflower head sliced
1 leek, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
Few spoons of coconut oil (or any other oil)
8 cups of vegetable broth (homemade is preferred)
½ cup of toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Optional toppings: extra chopped toasted hazelnuts, roasted cauliflower pieces, fresh black pepper, chives, arugula micro greens
Spread cauliflower coated with coconut oil on a baking sheet and roast in the oven in 400F until golden brown, don’t over cook it.
Place the leeks and garlic in a pot over medium heat with some coconut oil and saute for about 10 min until everything is soft. Add in most of the cauliflower (saving few pieces for garnish) and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes
Transfer the soup to a blender. Add in 1/2 cup of hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Blend until you have a smooth puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. Served with roasted cauliflower and hazelnuts or greens on top.
1 duzy kalafior
1 por poszatkowany
1 duzy zabek czosnku drobno pokrojony
kilka lyzek oleju kokosowego (albo innego oleju)
8 szklanek bulionu,
½ szklanka uprazonych orzechow laskowych
2 lyzki soku z cytryny
dodatkowo ale niekoniecznie do przybrania prazone orzechy laskowe, upieczone kawalki kalafiora, pieprz, szczypiorek, inna zielenina, roszponka
Na blaszce wylozonej papierem do pieczenia rozlozyc pokrojony kalafior obtoczony w oleju kokosowym, piec w piekarniku w temp 220 az sie zarumieni I zmieknie, uwaga nie przegotowac.
Pokrojony por i czosnek usmazyc w garnku , najlepiej o grubym dnie na srednim ogniu przez okolo 10 min, az wszystko zmieknie. Dodac kalafior I mieszajac poddusic przez 2 minuty, zalac bulionem, zmniejszyc ogien I dusic pod przykryciem przez 15 min. przelozyc do blendera dodac orzechy, sok cytryny, sol, pieprz I zmiksowac na kremowa mase. Przyprawic do smaku. Podawac z ulubionymi dodatkami.