Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cauliflower, Kale & Olive Soup

A delicious and colorful variation on this previously posted recipe for Chard, Cauliflower & Olive Soup, this time I used orange cauliflower, dinosaur kale, white cannellini beans, and pressed garlic cloves in place of green garlic. I dropped the jalapeno and added red pepper flakes, and skipped the cheese.

Olives or olive pastes are a wonderful way to add depth and flavor to a vegetable soup broth. Some vegetable soup broths can lack the salty richness needed to make a good soup great and I find olives or olive paste can be added near the end to provide zip to a soup whose flavor is otherwise a little bland. Other ingredients to add zip: miso or soy sauce (for an Asian flavor), a little marmite, or any kind of pesto.

This soup was wonderful. The orange cauliflower is slightly sweeter than white, the dino kale provides tender, yet substantial greens, the beans provide a solid protein, and the olives a robust flavor. Other possibilities: sub garlicy sauteed chickpeas for the white beans, or add rosemary and/or a little tomato paste for a heavier, Italian broth (the broth here is very light). I think rice or farro might be a nice addition here if you want to make the soup more substantial. Serve with a rustic olive bread and a fruity red wine for a simple, yet hearty meal.


Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Olives in soup! I can't say that I've ever tried it, but gosh, what a great idea. I *get* it.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous SAm said...

Marmite is a good idea. I add it when i sometimes make gravy out of the juices from roasted (ie black!) onions to go with mash or something. it's got a great "meaty taste."

12:42 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

cookie - that's what my boss said! well, ...except the great idea bit.

sam - I've used marmite with lentils for a "meaty" tasting shepherd's pie. I like the black onions idea.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Jan Scholl said...

the olives are putting me off here-I only like black ones and not hot. But I would try once.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Jan - I used to hate olives. I've since found I like certain types of olives and hate others. Those black ones (used for nachos etc) are very, very mild and wouldn't add much flavor to a soup. Try a little olive paste in a soup broth and see what you think. It adds depth and saltiness, but doesn't need to be overpowering.

8:05 PM  

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