This cauliflower and pear soup is elegant, sophisticated, and oh-so-chic! The flavor of the pear comes through as sweet but not sugary, and it blends with the cauliflower to create a delicious cream. Blending the soup until very smooth elevates it to dinner party status.
I like serving it in consommé cups (those are the cups with two handles) and garnishing it with chopped chives just before serving. Similar to vichyssoise, this soup is delicious served hot or chilled.
For an elegant dinner, follow the soup with beef Wellington and a combination of roasted baby vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and squash, and a chocolatey dessert.
- 4 tablespoons butter, salted
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 large head cauliflower (2 1/2 pounds), leaves removed, cut into florets
- 2 ripe pears, cored and diced (about 1 cup)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped chives
In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and sauté until the onion is transparent. Add the cauliflower, pears, broth, and half and half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool briefly.
Once the soup is no longer smoking, work in batches to purée it in a blender until smooth. Strain through a medium sieve and return it to a clean pot. To serve, reheat over low heat and garnish with the chopped chives. Serve hot or chilled.