Hearty Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Roasting cauliflower brings out any latent sugars lying deep in this often-misunderstood vegetable, making it sweet and savory, and surprisingly robust. When it's amped up with one of our evocative spice blends like Oaxacan Vegetable Seasoning, cauliflower goes next-level, sitting front-and-center in the middle of a soup that is hearty, satisfying, rich with Mexican seasonings, and--even better!--good for you.
The Oaxacan region of Mexico is one of the more familiar regions of Mexico thanks to its centuries-old culinary impact, like giving the world hundreds of different mole (pronounced “Moh-lay”) recipes. They prefer to use local and regional ingredients in their cuisine, so Oaxacan diets are centered on what's available. What's in season? What can be pulled out of the ground and put on the table? Vegetables often star in Oaxacan meals, and we wanted to honor that by making a seasoning blend that was vegetable-friendly. Hello, cauliflower. Meet your new best friend.
It’s a bit of a cliche for autumn, but there really is something about roasting vegetables that unlocks a whole new level of flavor. As the vegetables change color during roasting, you get a great visualization of the chemical changes taking place. The Maillard Reaction changes the proteins of the food and reduces the water in their sugars so they can caramelize. While roasting your cauliflower initiates the complex and delicious chain of Maillard reactions, the addition of the spice blend creates new layers of flavor both by seasoning the vegetable, and by strengthening its sweetness and complexity.
After roasting the cauliflower, introduce it to the rest of the soup ingredients and blend it together. A good immersion blender makes blending in the soup pot easy, but you can blend in a countertop blender if that's what you have. After the initial puree, add cold cubed butter to the soup to help emulsify the soup. If you want to make this dish vegan, you could opt to use a good plant-based butter, but try to avoid using anything that is very oily as it can make your soup taste greasy. This would be a perfect soup to enjoy with a nice piece of bread or a salad, or alongside some ham or pork for a deliciously warming and satisfying fall meal!
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 Tablespoons Oaxacan Vegetable Seasoning
- 1 medium-sized red onion, diced small
- 32 oz. vegetable stock
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper Medium Grind
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
- Parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425F. Toss cauliflower florets with 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Add Oaxacan Vegetable Seasoning and toss well again. Place cauliflower on baking sheet and bake in oven 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
- After turning cauliflower halfway through, add 1Tablespoon olive oil to Dutch oven and heat to medium. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add Kosher Salt and Black Pepper Medium Grind.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add vegetable stock. Bring to a rolling simmer. Add cauliflower florets, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- With an immersion blender or regular blender (in batches), blend until smooth. Add lemon juice and blend again until incorporated. Add chilled butter and blend once more until well incorporated.
- Taste soup and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve!