The first local chanterelles of the season have finally made an appearance at the organic foods store, and so the poor folks who work and shop there were treated to my happy-produce-dance again. It's lucky I don't embarrass easily. Anyone who gets as excited over fresh vegetables as I do should not be let out in public, as at any moment I'm prone to bust out a bastardized version of the electric slide and, well, that just ain't pretty.
But these, these are some sexy morsels of fungus ...
I bought out their stock during my lunch break yesterday and spent an insomnia night with visions of this soup dancing in my head. The sweet caramelized subtlety of the roasted garlic brings out the earthiness of the chanterelles, and the chanterelle "croutons" provide textural contrast to the creaminess imparted by the cauliflower and potatoes. It's a simple, hearty soup that relies on the quality of the primary ingredients, rather than added seasonings and trickery, for its flavour, and in my opinion deserves a dance all its own...
creamy roasted garlic, chanterelle, and cauliflower soup with chanterelle "croutons"
what you need ...
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced (white and tender light green parts)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. new potatoes, peeled and diced (approx. 1 heaping cup)
1 medium head cauliflower, florets and stem, chopped (approx. 6 heaping cups)
1 lb. fresh chanterelles, roughly chopped
4 large heads roasted garlic (instructions below, in case you need 'em)
1/4 c. dry white wine
3 1/4 c. home made, strong, salt-free mushroom stock
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
3 medium chanterelles, sliced
olive oil spray
freshly ground pepper
what you do ...
Turn broiler to 400°F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray sheet with olive oil. Lay sliced chanterelles on the sheet in a single layer, spray very lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Broil in upper-third of oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crispy and golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large soup pot, steam-fry onion, leeks and minced garlic until onions are translucent, then add chopped chanterelles and continue cooking until the chanterelles start to sweat.
Add cauliflower, potatoes, and a few tablespoons of mushroom stock and continue steam-cooking until cauliflower and potato begin to soften.
Add wine, remaining stock, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 30 minutes, or until cauliflower and potatoes are very tender and start breaking down.
Purée soup using either an immersion blender or a food processor, adding additional stock if / as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Taste for salt and pepper. Eat.
how to roast garlic ...
If you've never roasted your own garlic because you thought it was hard : get out your big boots -- you're gonna want to kick yourself.
Turn on your broiler at 400°F and cut as many decent-sized rectangles of tinfoil as you have garlic bulbs to roast.
Remove papery outer skins of the garlic bulbs, leaving them whole. Leave the layer of skin directly enclosing the garlic cloves. Slice the tops off the bulbs to expose the cloves.
Place each bulb on its own square of tinfoil. Wrap tightly and place on a baking sheet in the upper third of your oven.
Roast for an hour, remove from oven, and let cool enough to handle before removing foil.
To get the roasted garlic out of its pajamas, it's as simple as squeezing the bulbs from the bottom.
To store roasted garlic just package in a tightly sealed container and keep in the fridge. I normally roast a boat-load of garlic at a time to have on hand (if you've ever had roasted garlic and tahini smeared on pita bread you'll understand why I do this ...).
Since this month's edition of the Go Ahead Honey - It's Gluten Free event is all about the seasonal produce and this soup contains local chanterelles, and local and organic garlic, new potatoes, and cauliflower, I'm submitting it for this month's round-up being hosted by Rachel over at The Crispy Cook.
I also humbly submit this original soup recipe to this month's edition of the Culinarty Original Recipes event, hosted by Lore at Culinarty.