So the other day I went on a date to The Red Tea Box. While that cafe/restaurant/tea house was much more expensive than promised (supposedly an under $40/couple restaurant... unlikely story.) it was absolutely charming. There not only were there various vegan options on the menu, but all three soups they had on were vegan. So obviously we got the soup sampler.
The trio of mushroom soup was much much too salty for me, though my date didn't mind awfully, and even I agreed that it was good for drenching the provided bread in for flavor. The pumpkin-carrot-ginger soup was good, though I'd had that combination of flavors so many times it didn't take my anywhere new. The cauliflower-pear wasabi soup though. Wow. Wow. Wow. Right then and there my date and I agreed we would have to make that soup sometime soon--we even considered making it for dinner that night, but he'd already had a mushroom pasta sauce on the simmer. (Which, with chickpeas--my favorite way to eat pasta sauce, if not plain, was amazing.) Unfortunately the relationship didn't last the night (but we made it past dinner.)
Now, if something as little as a breakup would deter me from making this soup... well I wouldn't really be me now would I?
This soup is amazing, I love it to bits. First and foremost I love. Love. Love! the flavor combination. No soup I've had before has played with me quite so much. The creaminess of the cauliflower, the hint of sweetness from the pear, and the lovely little nip of the wasabi... just beautiful. I don't even want to mention that its virtually fat-free and low calorie yet super filling: yes it happens to be but please please forget this fact. Please. It also happens to be one of the easiest soups of my life. And easy on the wallet.
So here it is, my rendition of Cauliflower-Pear Wasabi Soup
1 head cauliflower, washed and chopped up. (Use the stem too, there's no reason not to.)
2 large ripe pears, washed and chopped up.
2-3 tbsp wasabi paste
1L vegetable broth
Pour the broth, pears, and cauliflower into a pressure cooker and cook for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower and pear are really quite soft and already falling apart. Add the wasabi and blend with an immersion blender. Voila.
If you don't have a pressure cooker, never fear--just boil until soft in a large pot. If you have no immersion blender--blend in parts in your regular blender but a word of warning; either let it cool or remove the center part of the lid if you can, else it will splatter like nothing else.
This soup simply dissapeared. My mother and I would have enjoyed more wasabi, my brother would have enjoyed less--so adjust that to taste. It's quite nice as a hint though, coming through the sweetness of the pear and just nipping gently without actually biting. But if you're into the kinky stuff... ;)
Enjoy! And Merry Christmas! (And whatever else you may be celebrating. At my house we celebrate nothing, so I'm a little out of the loop as to what I should be wishing you. But well wishes nontheless!)