Monday, January 17, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Stuffed Zucchini

These dishes are two of my favorite things lately!

I got the Roasted Cauliflower Soup recipe from a blog post on the Dallas Morning News Eats Blog. I can't find a link to the original post, but here is what it said...

'Remove the stems and leaves from a head of cauliflower, and break it up into big chunks. Place them on a baking sheet, brush them lightly with olive oil, and roast in a 400-degree oven for a half-hour, or until golden-brown, as shown. Simmer a quart of good-quality chicken broth (I use the organic ones that come in a box from either Central Market or Whole Foods), cut each of those big chunks in half or so, add them to the broth and simmer about ten minutes, or until completely tender. Puree in a blender or food processor (you'll probably need to do so in batches), then season to taste with salt and freshly ground white pepper. If you used a very large cauliflower, you may need to add additional broth to get the right consistency (as thick or thin as you like); I added about 3/4 cup. This holds well if you want to make it ahead then reheat."

This is as simple as it sounds. I roast cauliflower....

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Then I simmer it for awhile in chicken broth. I don't use expensive broth - we're pretty OK with Great Value Chicken Broth around here. I add a little salt and white pepper if needed. Then I puree it with my immersion blender. Ridiculously easy. We love it - Todd says it is like potato soup taken up three notches.

Our other favorite thing is stuffed zucchini. It all started with this post on YumSugar...Fast and Easy Stuffed Zucchini. I have made it several times now. The ingredients are so interchangeable - I have used several different nuts, cheeses, etc.

Here are the basic ingredients that she calls for...

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
4 medium zucchini
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup almonds, chopped (about 2 ounces)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan (3 ounces)
4 tablespoons olive oil

I double the garlic (I always do in every recipe - we love garlic), and I use whatever nuts, cheese, and beans are on sale at Sprouts. Tonight I used toasted pecans b/c my mama brought me some from Monroe, and Parm-Regg, and chickpeas...because that's what I had. Also, I chop up the zucchini that I remove and add that to the stuffing - hate to let any good veggie go to waste. I do not use nearly as much oil as she calls for. I just use a tiny bit.

The most important change I made from the original is that I DO NOT cover it with tin foil while baking. When it isn't covered, the quinoa toasts and turns into delicious little crunchy bits. So very yummy and a very unique texture. (I have tried baking it covered. It is NOT the same at all.)

Here is the stuffing in the bowl...

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Before going in the oven...

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The final product. Delicious...

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