London Pub Soup AND Creamy Cauliflower and Wild Rice Soup

2015-10-20 18.27.30RECIPE #92, DAY #114

ORIGINAL RECIPE: These recipes were originally “Melancauli Baby,” from Greta and Janet Podleski’s Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry, but it has expanded into two recipes*

TIMING: 1/2 hour

DIFFICULTY: Fairly easy

TOOLS: A soup pot, a wand blender, and other normal kitchen things

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: Chock full of veggies and whole grains (sort of, unofficially, as wild rice has something to do with grass), this soup does count as a good-for-you lunch or dinner. It’s not fat-free, but that’s perfectly acceptable to me. Both versions are staying on our rotation.

EXPERIENCE: Still sick, and now I’m on day two of three planned days of soup. Soup sounds wonderful to me right now. Yes, because I’m sick and the warm broth and hot bowl really sounds magical and soothing. But also because making soup is quick and easy work for dinner, any time, and since I am sick but still in charge of feeding both myself and a couple of kids, as well as a husband who will roll out of bed in time to slurp some soup before he heads to the night shift…

A long time ago, my aunt got me this totally cheesy cookbook called Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry. Hidden behind terrible puns and goofy humor, two Canucks spend not enough time (in their slim book) cranking up the flavors and trimming down the fat on some super-easy dinners for the home cook. Although I have to roll my eyes at almost everything in this silly book, after trying one after another after another recipe, I have to agree with their publisher that these are not just great recipes, they are about the greatest recipes. The flavors are almost always spot-on.

So somewhere in there we tried and loved a recipe for a creamy cauliflower and wild rice soup. And then, much later, I had the ingredients that to me said, “London pub,” and I turned to this old recipe to act as the basis for what I was doing. Awesome!

This time, I stuck to the original cauliflower soup, because those were the ingredients I had. But I thought I would include both recipes, and to be honest, I sort of like my London pub version just a little bit more.

NOTES: Make sure you double-clean your leeks. I usually trim them and rinse them, then cut them and change my cutting board out, then stick the pieces in a strainer and rinse again while I rake my hands through them. Ultimately, you are looking for zero sand.

This first recipe can be made vegetarian with the simple substitution of vegetable for chicken stock.

Wild rice often comes in a mix with brown rice or other rices. That works fine here, too.

If you do not have a wand/stick blender (poor you), you can pour half the soup into a blender and blend it before pouring it back. Please be careful. Use a towel over the lid of the blender to protect yourself from steam.

***

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER AND WILD RICE SOUP

  1. In a large soup pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add 2 sliced leeks and cook for 3 minutes until they soften. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook another 30 seconds, stirring.
  2. Add 4 cups cauliflower florets, 1 1/2 cups cubed sweet potato, 1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Stir for 1 more minute.
  3. Add 4 cups chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Use a wand blender to puree approximately half the chunks in the soup. Add 1 cup cooked wild rice, 1 cup evaporated milk, and 1/2 cup Swiss cheese and stir until cheese is melted and incorporated into the soup. Taste for salt and serve hot.

***

LONDON PUB SOUP

  • In a large soup pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add 2 sliced leeks and cook for 3 minutes until they soften. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 cup diced ham and cook another 30 seconds, stirring.
  • Add 4 cups cauliflower florets, 1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes, 1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Stir for 1 more minute.
  • Add 3 cups chicken stock, 1 cup apple cider or English beer, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Use a wand blender to puree approximately half the chunks in the soup. Add 1 cup cooked basmati rice, 1 cup evaporated milk, and 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is melted and incorporated into the soup. Taste for salt and serve hot.

***

Serve with a wonderful, tangy, crunchy-crusted and big-holed bread. And hard cider, cider, or English beer.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Vinny Grette says:

    I love the version with the beer. In my opinion, there is no such thing as an original recipe. Things differ depending on just what you have on hand, how fresh, and even how well you measure. Every recipe is just a guide. I like how your London pub recipe guides :). Hope you feel better soon!

    Like

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