“This soup (Courtesy: https://food52.com/recipes/15247-paul-bertolli-s-cauliflower-soup) might seem plain, but trust us. Paul Bertolli, who was at the helm of Chez Panisse and Oliveto for over 20 years, knows exactly how to make a vegetable become the best it can be. This recipe comes from Cooking by Hand, Bertolli’s IACP award-winning book of recipes and essays, and makes for a soup that’s delicate, sweet, and smooth as a flannel scarf.” — Genius Recipes
SAN FRANCISCO — Cauliflower is low in calories yet high in vitamins. Whether it is roasted, mashed or added to soups and casseroles, there’s an endless number of ways to cook cauliflower. Like this modest yet impressive soup recipe contributed by Steven Sharafian at his brilliant “A Serious Bunburyist” food blog.
“From the many soup recipes I have collected through the years, a number of them really stand out. These recipes share the same qualities: a few simple ingredients that in a short amount of time transform into something delicious. One example is the Potato and Leek Soup in Richard Olney’s Simple French Food (1974). Another one is this Cauliflower Soup in Paul Bertolli’s Cooking by Hand (2003),” says Steve.
Cooking by Hand is a personal, thoughtful and truly outstanding cookbook. It shares a number of qualities with Olney’s Simple French Food and Fergus Henderson’s Nose to Tail series. Bertolli is passionate about cooking. He seeks to honor yet advance food traditions. The first section of his book, entitled Cleaning the Fresco, speaks to this theme. The cooking that makes sense to Bertolli is “food grounded in a tradition, yet enlivened by the act of greeting the process and the ingredients anew.” The recipes in this chapter include Vitello Tonnato, a poached veal loin served in a rich tuna sauce; Artichokes Braised in Olive Oil; Potato Gnocchi with Butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano; and his recipe for Cauliflower Soup.
Cauliflower originally came from the Mediterranean region and arrived in Europe around the end of the 15th century. It has been grown and eaten across Europe since then but did not start growing in the United States until the 1900s.
Today, California produces more cauliflower than any other state. Cauliflower is grown in the Salinas Valley — also called the “Salad Bowl of the World.” The growing season can last 10 months due to its moderate climate and rich soil. Other states that grow cauliflower include Arizona, Florida, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. It is also grown in Wisconsin and can be found at farmers markets in September and October.