Sunday, November 3, 2019

Ellie Krieger's Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Mushroom & Hazelnut Topping for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I keep thinking that if I think Fall hard enough, our humid weather will catch up and cool down and let me enjoy the season. This Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Mushroom & Hazelnut Topping from Ellie Krieger practically screams fall. It popped up from The Washington Post when I was looking for a soup this week and the topping of sauteed mushrooms, toasted hazelnuts, cooking sherry & parsley is what sold me.

Krieger says, "This nourishing bowl is like the cashmere throw of soups — cozy and comforting, in the most luxurious, stylish way. Made with cauliflower that gets simmered with shallots and potato, in broth, until softened, and then blended until smooth, the soup is ultra-creamy and filling. (The potato gives it an extra layer of satisfying body.) That lovely off-white puree becomes the canvas for a spray of toppings, which amplify its earthy, nutty flavors, while contrasting its creaminess: an exciting mix of meaty sauteed mushrooms, kissed with sherry vinegar and tossed with crunchy toasted hazelnuts and fresh parsley. The resulting warm bowl of goodness is a first-class upgrade from your basic pureed vegetable soup."

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Mushroom & Hazelnut Topping
By Ellie Krieger via
(Serves 4-6)
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 4 medium shallots)
1 medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets (about 6 cups)
one (6-oz) Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup hazelnuts (see note)
4 oz mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake & chanterelles, stemmed, sliced & coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they have softened a bit but have not browned, about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower, potato, broth, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the cauliflower and potato are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth, or let cool slightly and puree in 3 to 4 batches in a regular blender.

While the soup cooks, make the topping: Place the hazelnuts in a dry medium skillet over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan frequently, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a bowl and let cool. Remove the skins if necessary (see note), then coarsely chop.

Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel. Return the pan to the heat and warm 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid and start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Stir in the hazelnuts, parsley, the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle about a cup of soup into each bowl and top each with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the topping.

Notes  If possible, purchase hazelnuts that have already had their skins removed. If they are not available, once you have toasted and cooled the nuts, place them on one side of a clean kitchen towel, fold the towel over the nuts and rub vigorously to remove any loose skins. It is okay if some skins remain.

Make Ahead: Soup and topping (minus the hazelnuts) may both be made up to 4 days ahead and stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. (Add the hazelnuts to the topping just before serving to keep them crunchy.)

Storage Notes: The soup can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.

Notes/Results: I really like this soup--the simple mix of the cauliflower, Yukon Gold potato, shallots and veggie broth is surprisingly flavorful but then when the topping is added, the mix of earthy, nutty and tangy makes it every better. Having two tablespoons of the topping to stir in also makes the soup heartier than a typical pureed soup. I would happily make it again.

Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week.

Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here.

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared a stew of Chicken and Rice saying, "Comforting warm food for a chilly day.  I have been making this Cook's Illustrated recipe of French Roasted Chicken for years.  It's an easy meal prepared in the Dutch oven and leaves just enough leftover chicken to make a soup or stew. For this soup/stewy version I took the leftover chicken and vegetables and added sauteed onions and garlic.  Then I poured a little more broth in the pot as well as a quarter to half cup of milk."

Debra of Eliot's Eats brought a dish inspired by The Adam's Family and said, "I couldn’t get past the vintage vibe of this film. I wanted to do something inspired by the film and highlight a retro recipe. During the first dinner that Fester has with his “long lost” brother’s family, he is served Granny’s specialite’ de la maison. She tells him to “Start with the eyes.” For some bizarre reason, I was reminded of a long lost recipe that my mom loved to make for special occasions. It was also kind of a specialty and was made only when she could find acini di pepe pasta which was kind of a feat in the 70s and 80s.  This favorite family salad (almost a dessert) had the creepy name of Frog Eye Salad.

Thanks to Tina and Debra for joining in this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter  
Have a healthy, happy week!


  1. Deb,
    I tend to really like a cauliflower soup. This soup looks delicious and the topping looks amazing.

  2. The last cauliflower soup I made was a faux potato soup way back in the Atkin diet days. I would love to revisit cauliflower in soup form with YOUR recipe. Been definitely in a soup mood here lately. :)

  3. Cauliflower is my favorite. Raw, roasted, pureed....bring it on.

  4. I can see how the toasted hazelnuts would pair well with the cauliflower. Perfect fall flavors there. Yum!


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