Nordic Roasted Cauliflower Soup (Blomkålsuppe)
Juniper berries give this cauliflower puree a seasonal lift, while still warming your insides.
Author: Adapted from The New Nordic: Recipes from a Scandinavian Kitchen by Simon Bajada
Serves: 4 servings
- 1 head cauliflower, leaves attached
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried juniper berries
- ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 1 tablespoon canola or rapeseed oil
- 20 ounces chicken broth or stock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- Ground white pepper, to taste
- Additional garnish variations could include chervil or, bacon crumbles, chives and half a hard boiled egg
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rinse the cauliflower thoroughly, then snap off the thick outer leaves, leaving the small, tender ones attached. Using a sharp knife, cut off the stem, leaving a flat base on which the cauliflower can rest. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet. Pour the oil over the cauliflower, using your hand to rub it in.
- Using a mortar and pestle, smash together the salt, juniper, and cardamom, thoroughly crushing the herbs. Sprinkle it over the cauliflower in a generous, even layer.
- Roast for about 40 minutes, until a knife easily pierces the stem. (After 40 minutes, if the cauliflower is not tender yet, then turn down the heat to 350 degrees to finish roasting, up to an additional 15 minutes. Cauliflower should be deep golden and richly fragrant, almost nutty.
- When the cauliflower is still warm but cool enough to handle, cut it into rough florets, reserving the leaves, and place in a blender. Blend, gradually adding chicken broth, until as smooth as can be. Only add as much broth as necessary to make it a creamy and spoonable soup.
- In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat. Continue heating until the butter starts to brown. It will crackle and release an intoxicating aroma into the air. Carefully swirl the pan until the milk solids separate and the butter is golden brown. Promptly remove the pot from burner in order to stop cooking. Combine pureed cauliflower. Stir in the sour cream. Taste and season with additional salt and white pepper if necessary.
- Return the pot to medium heat and cook, continuing to stir occasionally, until the soup is heated through. Serve, garnishing with the roasted cauliflower leaves, which are now curled, warmly colored, and almost translucent.
- Serve with Rye Crisp toast