Roasted Cauliflower Bowl of Comfort

Tel Aviv climate is pretty spectacular. We have beach weather for most of the year and a mild and brief season of cozy rainy days.  The temperature still manages to climb to 22 C (71 degrees F!!) during the day right now, but in the evenings, after the Mediterranean sun has dipped below the sea, the temperature dips too. And the chilly breezes make for extremely cozy nights.

Growing up with years of sky high snow drifts in northern nj, followed by the monstrous snow banks on every corner of nyc’s streets, I have certainly come to enjoy the mild season that people around these parts call ‘winter’.  ‘Winter’….hmmph, I’ll show them winter. Winter is when you have to wear tights underneath your jeans and the layers at your waistband are constantly bulky and rolling over each other. Winter is when you wear big boots for your morning commute like an alaskan park ranger and then change into flats when you reach the office or any other destination for that matter.  Winter is when you turn a corner and are unexpectedly slapped across the face by a vicious wind tunnel that stretches the entire  way to your subway station – and so you must put all your weight forward in a daring move and charge your way to the entrance, head down, arms in front in protective mode, sometimes sliding your feet so as not to risk misstepping.   In the height of winter you get home red faced and cold toed.  You are very well aware of what season it is. The idea that a little rain and wind is ‘wintry’ weather is laughable. And yet, I’ve got that winter vibe all up in my bones. Enter creamy soup #1.

sky and sea from my front balcony

Lets not overlook the facts.  Like the fact that when you roast cauliflower it becomes an exemplary vegetable. Full of flavor and texture, bound to the earth through its woody notes and earthen colors.  It is the superman of my refridgerator, Clark Kent when its cold and chopped into a salad or slaw, and SuperVeg when roasted and toasted. I made a batch of this soup not too long ago, sat down and ate a bowl, did my dishes and then immediately made it again.

Being that this soup is so incredibly simple – feel free to jazz it up any way you please. I think cauliflower is perfect and didn’t try to break the mold on this.

Roasted Cauliflower Bowl of Comfort (serves 4) (inspired by tarteletteblog.com)

1 large cauliflower
1 head garlic
2 leeks, white and some green
3 tbls olive oil
3 shallots
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups of stock
pinch of dried ground coriander
pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 150 C
Chop cauliflower into florets. Spread over baking sheet.
Cut garlic in half leaving root and stem intact.
Rinse leeks thoroughly, chop the white and tender part of the green into large chunks.
Roughly chop shallots.  Add garlic, leeks and shallots to the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and give a healthy amount of salt and pepper to the whole lot.
Roast in the oven for 40 minutes until cauliflower is nicely browned on its tops and can be pierced with a knife.
Place everything in a food processor or blender and add 1 cup of stock
Blend until smooth and continue adding stock until you have a consistency you are pleased with. (up to another cup of stock, more if you want a thinner drinkable soup)
Add a pinch of coriander and nutmeg and salt and pepper further if desired.
Serve hot with something crunchy on top and if reasonable, find your slippers and a couch, too.

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