Schneider’s Notes: This soup lends itself to an endless number of garnishes such as crisp slivered or finely diced pancetta; diced olive oil-fried bread; a dusting of fennel pollen; crispy shallots; snipped fresh chives, chervil or flat-leafed parsley; a drizzle of roasted hazelnut oil. White truffle oil, used sparingly, adds an astonishing flavor note.
For the Purée:
- 1 medium cauliflower (1.75 lbs – 2 lbs)
- 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 quart 2% or whole milk
- 1/2 oz. angel hair pasta or other, broken into 2-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- pinch of sugar
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon crème fraîche or heavy cream, optional
- freshly ground white or black pepper
Make the purée:
- Cut the cauliflower into florets and roughly chop. You should have 7 to 8 cups.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a medium saucepan and add the apple and milk. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and stir in the pasta, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is purée-tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Strain the mixture reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the solids to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth, at least one minute, adding a tablespoon or two of the reserved cooking liquid if necessary. Let the motor run for a minute or two, scraping down the sides several times until you have a fine purée. Add the butter and crème fraîche and season with a bit more salt if necessary, pepper, and another pinch of sugar (if necessary). Save the remaining cooking liquid for the soup.
To make the soup:
- Place cauliflower and apple purée in a medium saucepan, whisk in an equal amount of the reserved cooking liquid, and stir in a little cream. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat and adjust the seasoning. Add any of the garnishes mentioned above to each serving.
- You can prepare the purée several hours ahead of time and reheat it (or keep it warm for a shorter time), stirring occasionally, in a double boiler.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cauliflower and apple soup