Cauliflower Gruyére soup
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
From "The Girl and the Fig Cookbook" by Sondra Bernstein (Simon & Schuster, 300 pages, 2004).
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 onion, thickly sliced
1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock
Bouquet garni (3 Italian parsley sprigs, 1 tarragon sprig, 3 thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf, wrapped together in cheesecloth or tied with string)
1/4 pound Gruyère cheese, grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped chives
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan and cook onion slowly until soft and translucent, but not browned. Add cauliflower, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and garlic, then cook for 5 more minutes. Add stock and bouquet garni. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove bouquet garni.
Using a blender or food processor, purée soup in batches. Add Gruyère slowly. Stir in cream to desired thickness (you may not need the whole 1/2 cup). Garnish with chopped chives.