Dark Days Challenge Meal 2

What’s for dinner? Hmmm. I was procrastinating on Facebook when this little gem pops up in my feed: Vegan Cauliflower Soup. Hmmm, but I’m not a vegan, I like my soups creamy. Dear Chef Google: “cauliflower soup” and up pops The Pioneer Woman’s blog. Now we’re talking!

Vegetarian Cauliflower Soup (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

Local Soup Ingredients

3 small heads Romanesco Cauliflower (from Heron Pond Farm)
2 large carrots (Heron Pond)
2 stalks celery (Olivia’s Organics, MA)
1 small onion (Heavens Harvest Farm)
2 quarts vegetable stock
2 cups milk (Shaw Farm)
2-4 tablespoons butter (Shaw Farm)
4-6 tablespoons flour (I used non-local whole wheat flour – amazing texture in the soup!)
2 teaspoons sour cream (Cabot’s of Vermont)

Chop vegetables, add 1-2 tablespoons butter to stockpot and saute onion until translucent. Add remaining veggies and cook on medium-low until barely fork tender. Stir in vegetable stock and simmer for 10-12 minutes. In a small saucepan heat another 1-2 tablespoons butter, whisk together milk and flour and heat slowly in saucepan until thickened. Add to vegetables and stir to combine. For extra creaminess remove two cups of soup to heat-proof, 4-cup measuring cup and blend using immersion blender or stand blender, return creamed soup to pot. Before serving add a teaspoon of sour cream to the bottom of each soup bowl, serve with fresh herb garnish (I used basil from our Aerogarden and it was perfect).

Creamy Vegetarian Cauliflower Soup

Leek Gratin (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine)

2 giant leeks (Calareso’s Farm Stand)
Whole Milk to cover (Shaw Farm)
Pinch of Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste
Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

Wash leeks very well, cut to width of baking dish (trust me, don’t “eyeball” this one!), slice length-wise in half and lay the exposed cut part of the leek up. Add milk to cover (or half and half or heavy cream or some combination of), sprinkle with nutmeg and cheese. Bake in a 375 (F) oven for 35-40 minutes or until leeks are fork tender and cream sauce is bubbly.

Other Culinary Adventures this Week

Quart of Kombucha

I’ve got my pickle jar going with local cucumbers and dill, and a second pickle jar with my first attempt at making Kombucha. I am following this Instructables to start a mother with just a jar of kombucha tea that I picked up from Katalyst Kombucha, so far it looks like some kind of funky science experiment going on on the counter. 🙂

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