I have been trough a culinary crisis recently. A soup related one. I cooked soups for my partner but did not eat them myself for few good weeks. I did not fancy any soup that I already knew; I was looking for something new, something rehashing and exciting.
Recently I saw two recipes for cauliflower soups I was excited about. These were what I have been looking for. One of them I still have not made and it is Good Food magazine recipe (I will make it though, as I have all the ingredients in my fridge now), the other one I have found on one of the Polish culinary blogs. It may sound weird to you, but believe me – if you like sour and salty taste you will love it.
It is similar to Polish soup made from gherkins from a salty brine (ogórki kiszone or ogórki kwaszone), not pickled in vinegar! I would made some of those if only I could get hold of fresh gherkins but unfortunately I have not seen them in the shops or on local market. Therefore I decided I will prepare cauliflower the same way I would do gherkins and then cook a soup. Very, very interesting. Are you afraid to try it? Should not be.
First of all you need a big, clean jar to prepare cauliflower in brine. Then in the jar place:
2 small cauliflowers cut into florets
2-3cm piece of fresh horseradish, unpeeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled
tbsp of dill seeds (suva seeds)
And just cover with warm salted water. I would think about 1 tbsp of salt for a pint of water. Leave it in warm place for 2-3 days, until it smells and the water looks bit cloudy. Remove the cauliflower from a jar, keep the water and discard dill seeds, horseradish and garlic.
In a pan boil some vegetable stock, and next add the following peeled and diced vegetables:
few whole black peppercorns
Boil until the vegetables are soft and add the cauliflower and salty water accordingly to your taste. The more water you add the more salty and sour the soup will be. Boil for another 5 minutes.
Chop a handful of fresh dill, add to the soup and if you like you can add some crème fraiche. Serve hot.
It is not that scary, is it?