Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Smoky Bacon
Make this satisfying soup for lunch or supper on a cold winter’s day. Roasting cauliflower intensifies its flavour and, of course, just about everything tastes good with bacon. (For vegetarians, this soup is also good without.) Purée for a smooth result or leave it a little chunky, according to your taste. This soup thickens as it stands; if you make it ahead of time, thin as needed with extra stock.
- Serves: 5-6
- Course: Lunch, Dinner, Snack
- 1 medium cauliflower, trimmed and divided into florets (about 2 lbs/1 kg)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (15 ml)
- Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 slices smoky bacon, cut into 1/2" (1 cm) pieces
- 1 tbsp butter (15 ml)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 tsp/5 ml dried thyme)
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock (1.25 L)
- 1/2 cup 35% cream or half-and-half (125 ml)
- Chopped fresh parsley or thyme for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Toss cauliflower florets with oil and a little salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast until almost tender, 10–15 minutes. Set aside. Reserve a few florets to garnish finished soup.
- In a large saucepan, cook bacon pieces until lightly browned. Remove, drain on paper towel, and set aside.
- Discard all but 1 tbsp (15 ml) bacon fat from saucepan and add butter. Toss in onion, potato, thyme, and bay leaf with a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes. Add cauliflower and stock. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10–15 minutes.
- Discard thyme sprig and bay leaf and purée soup in batches. Return to pan, stir in cream, reheat gently, and adjust seasoning. Serve in warm bowls garnished with reserved cauliflower florets, bacon, and parsley or thyme.