For the rosemary oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 (4-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary
For the soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 quart stock (I typically use chicken or duck, but vegetable would be great too)
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cored and broken into 1 1/2-inch florets
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- Freshly grated lemon zest, for serving
- A few pepitas, for serving (optional, great alternative to croutons if you don’t do bread)
For the croutons (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups diced sourdough bread
- In a small skillet, combine the olive oil and rosemary sprigs. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, lowering the heat if the oil reaches a full simmer. (You want to cook it at a very gentle simmer to avoid frying the rosemary.) Carefully pour the oil and rosemary into a small bowl, leaving a slick of oil in the pan if you plan to make croutons. Allow the rosemary to cool completely in the oil while you make the soup.
- In a medium or large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (Be careful not to let the garlic scorch!)
- Add the stock, cauliflower, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.
- Heat the reserved skillet with the residual rosemary oil over medium. Add the bread cubes, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing often, until toasted all over, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a plate or board to cool.
- Strain and discard the rosemary stems from the rosemary oil.
- Carefully transfer the vegetables, stock and 1/4 cup rosemary oil to a blender and blend on high until creamy. Add more rosemary oil to taste, and blend to combine. I use a Vitamix and highly recommend it. The consistency you get blending soups is pure heaven.
- Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. If the soup seems thin, let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce slightly (the soup will continue to thicken as it cools). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot. Garnish each serving with a swirl of rosemary oil, a few croutons, and a sprinkle of lemon zest. The soup will thicken as it sits; add more stock as necessary when reheating.
Note: Leftover rosemary oil will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
This incredibly flavorful and creamy soup is vegan if you use vegetable stock and and gluten-free if you forego the croutons. Recipe only slightly adapted from NY Times.