Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Non-dieters can drink whatever cold drinks they enjoy during the hot summer months. Those of us on the other side of the divide must avoid mint juleps, beer, fruit juices, soft drinks (other than diet), and any other delicious drink I forgot to mention.
But what about vegetable purées, which are great winter soups, acting as cold beverages when it’s sweltering? This question would never have occurred to me if I hadn’t been having a very lazy afternoon on board our boat, the Outrageous, reading on the back deck.
I began to get nagging messages from my stomach (that demanding organ) that it wanted something more filling than diet iced tea. My brain (another equally demanding body part) reminded me that whatever I ate had to be very low in calories. I had brought up a container of cauliflower soup, but felt way too lazy to crank up the inboard generator and reorganize the galley so I could use the stove in order to heat up it up. (Readers may recall that the galley is the size of a shower stall; hence the top of the stove, when not in use, provides storage for a fruit bowl among other things.) Besides, who wants hot soup on a hot afternoon?
The voilà moment occurred when I asked myself, “Why not drink the soup cold?” I poured some into a glass and added a dollop of yogurt. I took it out on the back deck, sat back in chair, and drank it down to the last drop. It was as delicious cold as when hot, delightfully refreshing, and very satisfying—all for the diet-cost of a teaspoon of yogurt. For me, a new food category was born!
Cooking tip for making a thick and creamy soup: The correct amount of broth is tricky because vegetables often shrink and also contain their own liquids. To ensure that the soup will not be too thin, remove 1-2 cups of broth after the cooking is finished and before you start blending. After a first blend, you’ll know if it needs more broth. Add in ¼ cup increments until you reach the desired creaminess.
- 1 very large cauliflower or 2 small ones, washed, trimmed, and chopped into big chunks
- 8 cups of chicken broth (vegetables can be above the water line; they will reduce while cooking)
- 1 large sweet onion (the onion’s sweetness is key to this soup’s great taste), chopped into big chunks
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- Salt, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
- Before blending, remove 1 cup of liquid and hold in reserve.
- Purée soup with a hand blender or in a processor until smooth. If the purée is too thick for your taste, add the 1-2 cups of liquid held in reserve. (If not, you can throw away the liquid or save it as a vegetable broth.)
- Put container of soup in the refrigerator until cold.
- Pour out a glass and, if you prefer, mix in a tablespoon of goat yogurt or soy milk.
For Weight Watchers: Unless you’ve added a “countable” amount of yogurt or milk, any size serving is 0 points on the Points and PointsPlus plans.