Colorful foods are where it's at and I've had my eye on colored cauliflower for a couple of years now. A lot of people think that colored cauliflower is made using food coloring, but they couldn't be more wrong! These rainbow cauliflowers are natural to nature and have been hanging around farmer's markets for a long time now.
And well... it finally happened. I got my hands on not only 1 color of cauliflower, but on 3 different colors; lime/green, orange/cheddar, and you guessed it - purple! The colored cauliflower doesn't really taste any different than a traditional head. The only real difference that I could find is that they're so freakin' gorgeous!
So what does a girl do with purple cauliflower? She makes it into purple soup. (The original idea for this soup was not quite as purple.) Not just any purple soup either, but one that's loaded up with roasted garlic and cheese. Unnngh... mmm the cheese though. Cheese is and has always been my Achilles heel. I think it's one of my top 10 favorite things in this world.
Asiago cheese seems like a fancy way of naming parmesan cheese. It's maybe a slightly softer cheese but still has the same 'funk' and flavor that parmesan cheese has; which is why it pairs so well with roasted garlic.
What really makes this soup though, is the crispy crunchy cheesy seed and herb topping that goes on top. Trust me when I say that I could just sit there and snack on that stuff for days. The soup, as a whole, is pretty delightful and with all that garlic loaded in there, you won't have to worry at all about Vampires for a good long while.
Seriously though, have a breath mint ready!
Asiago Roasted Garlic & Purple Cauliflower Soup
Servings: 6 • Size: About 1 1/2 Cup • Calories: 208 • Fat: 10 g • Saturated Fat: 3 g • Carb: 19 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 11 g • Sugar: 3 g • Sodium: 587 mg
1 Small Head Purple Cauliflower, Cut into Florets
1 Tbsp. + 4 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Heads of Garlic
1 White Onion, Diced
1 Tsp. Dried Thyme
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 C. Grated Asiago Cheese
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1 Tbsp. Uncooked Dry/Raw Quinoa
2 Tbsp. Panko Breadcrumbs
1/2 Tbsp. White Sesame Seeds
1/2 Tbsp. Black Sesame Seeds
1/2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1/4 Cup Grated Asiago Cheese
2 Tsp. Lemon Zest
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat for easy cleanup; give a light coat of non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Cut the top 1/4 of the garlic heads off to expose the cloves inside. Top each with about 1 tsp. of the extra virgin olive oil and roll up within the foil.
Place the cauliflower and garlic onto the baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes (stirring around the cauliflower about halfway through) or until the cauliflower is roasted and the garlic cloves are softened and turning a golden brown on the edges.
Once done, remove from the oven and open the foil to allow the garlic to cool down.
While the garlic is cooling, place the 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and the onion into the bottom of a large stockpot and heat over a medium-high heat to cook until the onion is tender.
When the onion is done and the garlic is cooled enough to handle, remove the garlic cloves from the head. I did this by merely squeezing the head at the base until the cloves popped out.
Place the garlic into the pot with the onion and add in the 1 Tsp. Dried Thyme, 1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice and 4 Cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth, and the roasted cauliflower.
Bring it all to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
Once the soup is nearly done, start making your crunchy topping by heating the 1 Tbsp. quinoa in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook only until the quinoa begins to brown and is 'popping'.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the 2 Tbsp. Panko Breadcrumbs, 1/2 Tbsp. White Sesame Seeds, 1/2 Tbsp. Black Sesame Seeds, 1/2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds, and 1/4 Cup Grated Asiago Cheese.
NOTE: DON'T PANICK! The crunchy mixture will probably get a bit 'goopy' and melty seeming, but as it cools it will harden back up into a crispy topping.
Set the mixture aside to cool and transfer the soup to a blender or food processor - or use a handheld immersion blender to puree the soup with the 1/2 C. Grated Asiago Cheese and Salt & Pepper to Taste.
NOTE: Be sure if you're using a bender to remove the steam cap before blending!
Add the 2 Tsp. Lemon Zest, 2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, and Salt & Pepper to Taste to the crunchy topping.
Divide the soup evenly among bowls and top each with some of the crunchy goodness.
Serve right away and enjoy!
Nutritional Claims: Sugar Conscious, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Red Meat Free, Crustacean Free, Celery Free, Mustard Free, Lupine Free, Mollusk Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added