Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with happiness and love, and that your 2018 is off to a bright start. I must admit, I am moving at a snail’s pace getting back into the swing of things. I had grand plans to return from the holidays with energy and creativity abounding — that I would hit the ground running with new posts, a backlog of content and an organized pantry. Instead, I am still unpacking and still trying to work through a to-do list so long I should write it on a scroll. Well, it seems fitting that one of my intentions for 2018 is letting go — letting go of perfection, fear and anxiety and grabbing onto the present.
January, my birthday month, is always a month of competing emotions for me. I love January for its sense of hope and possibility for a bright year ahead; but often those feelings go hand in hand with pressure to make good on new year’s resolutions and anxiety or guilt when you fall short. This year, I am trying to be kinder to myself and to simply enjoy where I am at in this moment in time. There is a lot to love about January: its stark brightness, as sunlight reflects off of the white snow; its cold temperatures, which are conducive to cozy nights spent with loved ones; the comfort food, with pops of freshness from in-season citrus; and finally, the opportunity to quietly reflect on the year ahead. I’m trying to take January one day at a time and slowly ease into the new year. I hope you are doing the same!
Now for the food. I thought I would pop in with this quick and easy recipe. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a soup or purée — it is quite thick — but either way it is delicious. Side note for moms of babies and/or toddlers: I have taken to making my soups very thick, as it is easier for little ones to self-feed and reduces mess. This soup/purée is simultaneously warming, earthy and bright — the perfect embodiment of January. The recipe looks as though it has a lot of components, but really it could not be simpler to prepare and the flavor combination sets it apart from the typical cauliflower soup. I roasted cauliflower florets, yukon gold potatoes, shallots and Meyer lemon wedges all together on two baking sheets until nicely browned. After removing the peels from the lemon wedges, everything gets dumped into a blender along with some broth. Blend on high, reheat if necessary, and the soup is done. Easy!
To further enhance the flavor and texture of this soup, I topped it with crispy kale and earthy mushrooms, both of which I roasted while I reheated the soup. Feel free to omit one or both if you are short on time. The soup is delicious on its own or simply with a generous drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and any herbs you have on hand.
I’d love to hear what types of recipes you would like to see more of in 2018. I welcome with open arms any input you may have. Have a wonderful day! xo Maggie
For the soup:
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped into small florets approx. 1.5 inch in size
- 2 yukon gold potatoes, roughly chopped into 1 inch size pieces (I left peels on)
- 3 small shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 small Meyer lemons, cut into wedges
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups organic chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Preheat oven to 400° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place cauliflower florets, potatoes, shallots and lemon wedges on one baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the mixture with your hands until everything is evenly coated with olive oil. Divide among both baking sheets, spreading mixture out as much as possible to encourage browning. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until nicely browned.
- Remove peels from the flesh of half of the lemon wedges (reserve remaining whole wedges for garnish). Discard peels or reserve for another use.
- Transfer roasted cauliflower, potatoes, shallots and lemon flesh to a blender along with 3 cups of broth. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as necessary. Serve immediately, or transfer to a pot to reheat on the stove.
- Top with crispy kale and roasted mushrooms (recipe below), along with the reserved lemon wedges and any fresh herbs you have on hand.
- 2 heaping cups purple kale, roughly torn from the stems (from about 1/2 of a large bunch of kale; any variety will do)
- 4 oz package of sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp white miso paste
- Salt and pepper
- Reduce oven temperature to 375°
- In a large bowl, whisk together miso paste and extra virgin olive oil.
- Add kale and mushrooms to the bowl and toss with your hands until mixture is evenly coated with the olive oil and miso. Divide mixture among the two baking sheets (use the same parchment you used for the cauliflower!). Roast for approximately 15-20 minutes, until kale is crispy and mushrooms are starting to brown.