Cauliflower and Cashew Soup

Am still on a roll to make new recipes, must expand versus stay in a rut.  Saw another one that caught my eye in the most recent issue of Bon Appetit (March 2015) — Cauliflower-Cashew Soup with Crispy Buckwheat.  In addition to it sounding good, I had to figure out what the heck buckwheat groats areSo, of course this was another reason to go to the great bulk section of Whole Foods.  It is almost problematic that I live 1/2 mile from one of the aforementioned grocery stores.  I miss living the close to a Trader Joe’s except when I need such things are buckwheat groats.

So, the fun begins.

½ cup olive oil, divided
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves — I went easy and used dry stuff
Kosher salt
½ cup dry white wine
1 large head of cauliflower, cored, cut into small florets, stem chopped, divided
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. cashews — go Trader Joe’s!
6 cups (or more) vegetable stock, preferably homemade — TJ’s is the best place for (just) the broth!
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons buckwheat groats — go Whole Foods bulk! In the picture they are those things to the right of the cashews
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon paprika

IMG_2545[1]Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add shallots, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent, 6–8 minutes.  *Quick note — thyme is green.

Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Set ¾ cup cauliflower aside; add the rest to pot along with cayenne and ¾ cup cashews; season with salt.

Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until cauliflower is fork-tender and vegetables have released all their water, 20–25 minutes (check occasionally to make sure vegetables are not browning; reduce heat if they are).

Add stock and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until cauliflower is falling apart, 20–25 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

*In addition to thyme being green, as I was pouring the veggie broth into the pot (they do use stock), I was thinking about the picture they have in the magazine (follow the link to the recipe) and how it’s bright white.  I have brown-ish broth.  How is this going to brighten up?

Meanwhile, finely chop reserved ¾ cup cauliflower and remaining 2 Tbsp. cashews. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in a small skillet over medium. Add cauliflower, cashews, and buckwheat; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until cauliflower and cashews are golden brown and buckwheat is browned and crisp, 5–8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and paprika. Let cool slightly.

Working in batches if needed, purée soup in a blender until very smooth — can we say immersion blender??? Return to pot and reheat over medium-low, stirring and adding more stock to thin if needed (soup should be the consistency of heavy cream). Taste and season soup again if needed.

Serve soup topped with toasted cauliflower-buckwheat mixture.

(Do Ahead: Soup can be made 2 days ahead (or 1 month if frozen). Let cool; transfer to airtight containers and chill.)

End result, very tasty, orange-ish (not white) soup — totally check out their link for comparison.  Was nice and thick, just like they called for.  Very unique flavor and definitely worth making!


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