Monday, September 24, 2012

Cauliflower Beef Soup

I'm going mad with soup making right now. As fast as I can whip up a batch of broth it disappears into a flavorful soup. This one is fairly understated, but I left it that way on purpose. I could have easily used more onion or rosemary, but this version has just enough to taste good and leave the hearty beef front and center. Feel free to add stuff to your heart's content!

Speaking of rosemary, I think everyone should grow it! My head explodes with happy every time I run my hands through the branches and inhale the intoxicating aroma. Think I'm exaggerating? Sneak into my yard and try it yourself. (just kidding, go away. I'm probably still in jammies) It is such an easygoing plant, and so far has tolerated hot, dry conditions as well as wet, humid conditions. The real test is to see if I can get it to live through the winter. Mine is in a pot and will have to be brought inside. I don't water plants so well... If it dies I can always strip the dried leaves off the branches and still have oodles of beautiful rosemary to grace my cooking.

Mmmmm, so good!

CAULIFLOWER BEEF SOUP     Yield: Approx. 3-4quarts

2 large cauliflower heads, woody stems removed and florets broken into large chunks
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
1 4-inch branch of fresh rosemary
Dash of black pepper
1 - 1.5 quarts beef broth (this won't cover the florets but it will cook fine)
1 lb ground beef (I used grassfed beef from my friendly local farmers at Spring Valley Farms. Love those guys!)

Simmer everything until the florets begin to break down as you stir. Using a stick blender or a regular blender, blend everything until smooth. Some florets will mock you and refuse to be pureed. Don't fight it. Give them the stink eye and move on. The beef will add enough texture that you won't be bothered by the occasional cauliflower chunk. If the soup is thicker than you like, now is the time to add more broth. Place the pot back on the stove. Drop little balls of ground beef in the soup and bring everything to a simmer. Do not stir until the meatballs are cooked through! They could break apart and ruin the coolness. This freezes fabulously!

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