Thursday, March 1, 2012

SoupaPalooza: Cream of Cauliflower

Sometimes, all you need are a few ingredients to make a comforting and creamy soup that sticks to your ribs! This is what this soup is: rich, flavorful and so good for you! Sure, it has cream in it, but you can definitely substitute cream with almond milk, soy milk or even omit it all together and have a hearty cauliflower puree.

Like I said, it's healthy for you and while researching why, I came across these health benefits of Cauliflower:
  • Very low in calories. 100 g of fresh cauliflower has only 26 calories. However, it is very low in fat and contains no cholesterol.
  • Its florets contain about 2 g of dietary fiber per 100 g; providing about 5% of recommended value.
  • Cauliflower contains several anti cancer phyto-chemicals like sulforaphaneand plant sterols such as indole-3-carbinolwhich appears to function as an anti-estrogen agent. Together these compounds have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer cell growth inhibition, cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.
  • Also,Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a lipid soluble compound present abundantly in brassica group of vegetables has found effective as immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral compound by potentiating Interferon-Gamma receptors and its production. DIM has currently been found application in the treatment of recurring respiratory papillomatosis caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and is in Phase III clinical trials for cervical dysplasia.
  • Fresh cauliflower is excellent source ofvitamin C; 100 g provides about 48.2 mg or 80% of daily recommended value. Vitamin-C is a proven antioxidant helps fight against harmful free radicals, boosts immunity and prevent from infections and cancers.
  • It contains good amounts of many essential B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3) as well as vitamin K. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for fat, protein and carbohydrates metabolism.
  • It is also good source of minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium. Manganese is used in the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Potassiumis an important intracellular electrolyte helps counter the hypertension effects of sodium.

Cream of Cauliflower
Makes 2 quarts

2 strips of bacon, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 head cauliflower, florets and stems
4 cups broth (chicken, beef, vegetable)
2 cups cream

to taste: salt and black pepper
garnish: cheese

  1.  Over high heat, render the fat from the bacon until halfway cooked and add onion, celery, and carrots. 
  2. Cook over medium heat from 4 minutes and then toss in cauliflower. Saute for 4 more minutes and quickly add broth of your choice. 
  3. Simmer until cauliflower is tender. Blend (using a regular blender or an immersion blender) until smooth.
  4. Strain into new pot and add cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve alongside crusty bread or garnish with cheese. M. made a garnish of finely chopped apples and onions, cooked down to a sweet chutney-like texture.
Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine & Dish 

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