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When Traveling, a Museum Is Not My First Stop!

October 12, 2018

Cauliflower, Fennel and Parmesan Soup YUM!

The first thing I want to do when I'm traveling is to look for where food and home goods are sold. The everyday products people buy fascinate me. They're as important as the local history. Plus, I love food and home goods!

Years ago I spent hours in a gigantic grocery store in Provence, France. I was with my sister-in-law and our kids. As I went down the aisles exploring everything, nothing was off limits; I examined the stationery, the kitchen supplies, and all the packaged goods. I lingered even longer when I got to the fresh produce, the meat, the fish, the cheese, and especially all those desserts. I was in bliss.

A few days later, when we needed a few things from the store, I asked, "Does anyone want to come with me?" Their response, "Oh no, not the grocery store, not again!" I guess I'd overdone it, but they were all so polite, who knew?

At the farmers market the other day, I picked up a head of cauliflower and a fennel bulb, not because I knew what I was going to make with them, but because they were in season and beautiful. 

I went through the notebook where I write my recipes and fun ideas I want to try. I found a note that said cauliflower, fennel, and Parmesan soup-try it! So I did. 

It was really good! The addition of the Parmesan made it very interesting, I would definitely make it again.

Here is the recipe:

Cauliflower Fennel Parmesan Soup

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower cut into 2" chunks
1 large bulb fennel, trim off stalks (save 1-tablespoon fronds for garnish) cut into 2" chunks
1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano; more if necessary and enough to serve with the soup.
1/2 cup cottage cheese*
Low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth to cover veggies by1"
A few vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes

Directions:

  1. Place vegetables in a stockpot.
  2. Add broth. Add water if needed to cover veggies by 1".
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are very soft. (Approx. 30 minutes). Do not cover.
  4. If the broth evaporates below the vegetables. Add broth or water. You want the veggies to appear just above the broth.
  5. Cover the pan to prevent more evaporation while the vegetables cook.
  6. When vegetables are soft, puree with an immersion blender.
  7. Add cottage cheese, stir to blend lightly.
  8. Spoon the soup into a blender and mix until you have a creamy consistency. Then place soup back into the pot. Do this in batches.
  9. Return pot to medium heat and add the Pecorino Romano, stirring to blend.

Taste the soup to see if it needs flavor. Add bouillon cubes one at a time, checking the flavor after each.

You can also add more Pecorino Romano; it's up to you-you want a nice balance of flavors.

Only add salt and white pepper at the end if it needs it.

Pour hot soup into individual bowls. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and serve with extra cheese you can pass around.

* Adding cottage cheese instead of cream to blended soups is my mother's trick and it's a great one. The result is a light and creamy mixture that is delicious.

What about you?
Are you a fan of Food and Houseware stores too?
What are your favorite things to see when you travel?
If you try the soup, let me know! 
We'd love your feedback! 
Merci 

 





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