I really love making soup. LOVE it. It is easy, makes your whole house smell like a good place to be, and it is pretty hard to screw it up. Winter is one of my favorite times of the year to make soup because there are so many tasty root and bulb vegetables in season. Also, there is the cold. So, since our local grocery had some pretty sexy looking cauliflower and parsnips, I decided to make Cream of Cauliflower and Parsnip soup.

I don’t really use recipes when I make soups so much as a suggested ingredient list. First, when I make cream-based soups with pureed vegetables, I find that you really don’t need that much cream at all. Basically, I used a stick of butter, 3 small bulbs of shallots, one medium onion, three leeks, a good-sized head of cauliflower, about a pound of parsnips, 4 cups of chicken stock, fresh bay leaves, fresh thyme, about a cup of cream, some grated parm/reg, a pinch of powdered dried chipotle (because the parsnips are pretty sweet) and salt and pepper to taste. I use both ground black and white pepper when making soups.

Chop all your veg.

Mis - soup

Make sure to soak the chopped leeks in water rather than just rinse them. They are dirty, dirty veg.

Dirty, Sexy Leeks

Sweat the onion and shallots in a dutch over or big pot over med-low heat in the butter. Yes the whole stick. Don’t be such a pansy. Add the fresh herbs and S&P. Add the leek, re-season, put the lid on and let the veg soften completely. Add the stock, bring it up to boiling, add the cauli and parsnips, re-season, turn the heat down to low, put the lid on, and go do something else for a while. I folded laundry and drank some wine. Okay, and ate some chocolate.

Almost Soup

When the veg are COMPLETELY soft, turn off the heat. Puree in blender or food pro in small batches and put pureed portions in a separate bowl. Now PAY ATTENTION here unless you want to burn the living shit out of yourself and spend 47 minutes cleaning crap off of your ceiling. When you put hot substances into a blender, DO NOT PUSH THE LID ON. Catch that? Because the heat plus the motion of the blades will blow the top off of your blender unless you have it vented somehow. And no, it is NOT a good idea to just remove the oil cap. Instead, carefully place the lid on the top of the blender without smooshing it down and hold it in place. You can even drape a dish cloth over the top – just make sure to hold the lid in place because it WILL push up. Also, do not ever fill the blender vessel more than 1/3-ish.

When you are done with this and/or have tended to all your burns, return the whole pureed lot back to the original pot. Add your cream SLOWLY. Then your powdered chile and cheese, taste and re-season as needed. I sometimes add a couple of slices of crumbled bacon. Keep over low ’til you are ready to eat it.

Cream of Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup. And Maybe Some Bacon.

We had this with some totally old-school BLTs.



  1. Lori Ann Manis said,

    January 15, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    cooks who use a whole stick of butter are hot!

  2. Dr. Monkey said,

    January 15, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    You had me until I saw that you used a dreaded vegetable that ends in ‘ip.’ ;o)

  3. January 16, 2010 at 7:27 am

    That BLT is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Yummity-yum-yum-yum!

  4. southern female lawyer said,

    January 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I know – people fear the parsnip. But really? Cook it long enough in stock so that it softens and isn’t so fibrous, it really is delish. Kind of like a carrot crossed with fennel. Of course, you can make this soup with ALL cauliflower, or sub just about anything for the dreaded ‘snip.

    And Stan? I kept the BLT completely old school -just like my non-cooking mom used to make (we were raised entirely on tinned meat, but that is a blog for another day). So, bacon, tomato, iceberg lettuce and YES Miracle Whip on lightly toasted white wheat bread.

  5. Laci the Dog said,

    January 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I need to post my taties and neeps recipe. It’s a kind of Scottish mashed potatoes with turnips. Add a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon. And garlic for me since I am a garlic nut (a bit of French heritge in there).

    Neeps and Tatties

    2 lb Potatoes; peeled & cut into-eighths
    1 1/2 lb Yellow turnips (rutabagas)-peeled & cut into 1/2″-cubes
    1 ts Salt
    1/4 c Butter; melted
    1/3 c Milk; warmed
    The following add to taste:

    Prepare Tatties (mashed potatoes) and Neeps (turnips)
    In a 3 quart saucepan, combine potatoes and water to cover.
    Heat to boiling over high heat; reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until potatoes are tender- about 20 minutes.
    In a 2 quart saucepan, combine turnips, 1/2 tsp salt, and water to cover.
    Heat to boiling over high heat; reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until turnips are tender- about 25 to 30 minutes.
    When potatoes are tender, drain well and return to saucepan.
    With electric mixer, beat potatoes on low speed until all pieces are broken up.
    Add 1/2 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp butter, and half of the milk.
    Beat until mixture is smooth.
    Add remaining milk and beat at high speed until smooth and fluffy.
    Keep warm until ready to serve.
    When turnips are tender, drain well and return to saucepan.
    Add remaining 2 Tbsp butter and keep warm until ready to serve.

  6. January 17, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    That looks and sounds fabulous. Leeks scare the living shit out of me because I can NEVER get all the sand out.

    I think I will make this soup as way of surreptitiously giving Mr. Beale his vegetables.

  7. January 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Holy. mother. of. God.

    I just made this soup. It’s literally on the stove right now, awaiting Mr. Beale’s arrival home from work (which isn’t for another hour. I wasn’t sure how long everything would take).

    This is possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. All I can say, Mr. Beale better get home soon, or I’m gonna eat the whole dang thing before he gets home!

  8. southern female lawyer said,

    January 19, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    YAY! And it is a base veloute soup recipe, so you can switch out whatever veg you want with equally tasty results. Glad you liked it!

  9. January 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    I will definitely try different veggies in there. I’ve popped some in the freezer. Be sure to mention that this soup is delicious cold as well as hot. Would be good in the summer as well.

  10. WJAC said,

    March 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Another tasty option is to roast the veggies in the oven . . . soup is good.

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