Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chorizo, Lime & Cilantro

Harry Zenike

Although my mother served countless vegetables when I was growing up, she never cooked cauliflower. I, on the other hand, continue to marvel at the inventive ways a cook can use this vegetable. I’ve tossed the florets into pastas, incorporated them into creamy gratins, and used them imaginatively in soups like this one. For this spicy version, florets are simmered and then turned into a smooth puree. Lime-scented sour cream adds a cooling note and some pan-fried chorizo a bit of heat.

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 6-OZ chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch dice (use Spanish-style chorizo in casing, not loose Mexican-style chorizo)
  • 2 CUPS (2 – 3 medium) chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 2 TSP chopped garlic
  • 8 CUPS (about 1 1/2 lb or use packaged florets) cauliflower florets
  • 5 CUPS chicken broth or stock
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 CUP sour cream
  • 1/2 TSP grated lime zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 CUP chopped cilantro

Directions

IN A HEAVY POT over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until hot. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, until slightly crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks to the drippings in the pan. Cook, stirring often until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add the cauliflower, broth, and 1 teaspoon salt.

BRING THE MIXTURE to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Purée the soup in batches in a food processor, blender, or food mill. (Or use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pot.)

WHISK together the sour cream and the lime zest and stir half the mixture into the soup. Season the soup with more salt if needed and with 1/4 teaspoon or more black pepper. (Soup can be prepared two days ahead. Cook to this stage, then cool, cover, and refrigerate the sautéed chorizo and the sour cream separately. Reheat the soup over medium heat, stirring often.)

LADLE the soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with a dollop of the remaining sour cream. Serve with small bowls of chorizo, toasted breadcrumbs, and cilantro for sprinkling.

Cook time: 
Yield: 
Serves 6
  • When it comes to cooking sausage, it's all about heat management

    "If you're going to grill, you can mark it first on a hotter part of the grill," says Chris Ying, editor in chief of Lucky Peach and co-author of The Wurst of Lucky Peach. "Then move it to the cooler, indirect heat to finish cooking gently and slowly, and let all of those fats and everything break down inside of the sausage."

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Host Francis Lam wins multiple 2017 James Beard Media Awards

Host Francis Lam won several awards at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Media Awards for his work as food writer and cookbook editor.