When I first started cooking lunch at the café, my chef taught me his prized soup recipe, which he created through reading and synthesizing the soup philosophies of several famous and groundbreaking chefs. It goes like this: roughly chop a bunch of vegetables, put the vegetables in the pot, cover with water, add a crap-ton of butter, simmer for an hour, blend, season to taste. From this basic premise, worlds unfold.
Since beginning the new routine of working in the studio during the day, I have discovered that cooking lunch is a bad idea. If I leave the studio right in the middle of the day and get all invested in what sounds good for lunch and what’s in the fridge and what I could whip up…well, lunch becomes a big affair that usually leads to extreme distraction from painting, which is not what I want! In the interest of allowing myself to really sink in and focus on making art during the day, I decided to make a big pot of soup, which I could simply pour into a bowl, heat up, and take to the studio with me. Distraction evaded!
This week’s lunch is a rich and garden-y mix of kale and cauliflower, fresh from the farmer’s market, my Saturday morning haunt. I added a few extra things the soup beyond its original butter and salt origins to give an extra full, complex flavor. I like this soup because it tastes like vegetables, but it also has a savory oomph that makes for a full meal. Though I don’t fault anyone who wants to eat it with slice of toasted honey wheat bread (I may or may not have done that…).
Cauliflower Kale Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium purple onion
1/2 pound kale
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 large clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 cup salted butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup heavy cream
Roughly dice the onion. Pour the oil into a heated soup pot. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned. Remove the pot from the heat. Roughly chop the kale and cauliflower. Add these to the onions in the pot. Fill the pot with water until the vegetables are submerged. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for an hour.
Using a ladle, scoop the vegetables into a blender with enough liquid to blend them. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. You may have to blend the vegetables in two batches. If so, just whisk the batches together fervently so that the seasonings become evenly distributed. If you so desire, top with a dollop or Greek yogurt and some freshly cracked pepper.