Cauliflower Cream with Garlic-Asiago Croutons

This soup is inspired by my friend Ryan. 
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Ryan surprised me on my birthday by cooking an amazing meal and delivering it to me at school just in time for lunch. He made me some stewed beef, cauliflower “rice” and veggies, and this Cauliflower Soup that I seriously wished was bottomless. His cooking is like a big hug. In food form.

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The man himself

So, Ryan doesn’t like to follow recipes. It’s just how he rolls. But everything he makes just tastes amazing since he’s got a great intuition for flavour combining. So needless to say, I didn’t ask him what was in it and how it was made.

So here is my interpretation of it. I added some stuff that I know wasn’t in the original just for a different texture and health benefits.

Cauliflower:
Cauliflower is a slightly warming vegetable, which means it gently warms the body to promote good circulation. It can also heal bruises by resolving the stagnant blood in the site of trauma.

Its flavour is sweet and slightly pungent, which means that it nourishes the Spleen & Stomach, and the Lung & Large intestine respectively. This means that Cauliflower has the function of strengthening digestion via nourishing the Spleen and Stomach network, and has the function of clearing skin conditions such as acne via purging toxic waste through the bowels.

As for the croutons, I’m not saying they’ve got any specific health benefits. But they lend a savoury crunch to this velvety soup.

Ingredients:
Soup:
Half a head of Cauliflower, Chopped into small pieces (About 3 cups worth)
1 small sweet onion
2 green onions
2 +1/2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup almond milk
5 sprigs of thyme
1 pinch of nutmeg
White or black pepper
1 tbsp oil or butter
Salt to taste

Croutons:
2 cups of bread cut up in cubes
2 tbsp butter
2 big cloves of garlic
2 generous pinches of salt
1/4 cup of finely shredded Asiago cheese

Method:Soup

Chop up all the vegetables. Heat the oil or butter Sauté the onions in oil until fragrant and soft, add the chopped cauliflower and green onions and continue to cook for 3 minutes or so. Add the thyme sprigs and nutmeg and sauté until fragrant.

Pour the almond milk and the stock into the vegetable mixture. The liquid should cover the vegetables entirely. If you like a thicker soup, reduce the amount of liquid until the veggies barely skim the surface of the liquid.

Simmer for 20 minutes on medium.
After 20 minutes, let the soup cool, and blend it until smooth. If the soup is too thick, you can add more almond milk or stock to it.

Method: Croutons
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Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees.

Chop the bread into small cubes. Stale bread is best since it is dryer than fresh bread, and will soak up the marinade better.

In a saucepan, melt the butter, and fry the garlic until fragrant. Be very careful not to burn it. Add a generous pinch of salt to the butter and garlic mixture, and set aside to cool.

Once cool, pour the mixture over the bread cubes in a large bowl. Sprinkle another pinch of salt, and the asiago cheese on top. Toss the bread cubes until they are all evenly coated.

Spread the bread cubes out evenly on a baking tray, and bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees celsius. If they are not dark enough for your liking, leave them for another 1 or 2 minutes. They should be fragrant and crispy.

Let the croutons cool in room temperature. They will become crispier as they cool.L1060192

Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with croutons and parsley! If you want a little more richness in the soup, you can grate some more Asiago and sprinkle it over the soup.

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