Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Mushroom, Bacon & Cheddar Puff Pies

Is it just me, or has the world become cauliflower-obsessed lately? All over pinterest are recipes for: Cauliflower pizza crusts, cauliflower alfredo sauces, seasoned cauliflower bites, cauliflower popcorn {i’m not even kidding!} Cauliflower tater tots {i’m not kidding again!} Cauliflower buffalo wings! Cauliflower wraps, salads and casseroles, and about a million other recipes. I don’t know if it’s a recent “trend” or if i’ve just had a sheltered English upbringing where the only good recipe that called for cauliflower, was good old “cauliflower cheese” {which I think my mum made on a weekly basis!} But either way, I recently realized that I should be making more cauliflower recipes! {And by “more”, I mean “one.” I think this is the first recipe I have posted with cauliflower as an ingredient!}

I have mainly been pressed to do something with cauliflower lately with the turn of fall, and what says “fall” better than a bowl of delicious, warm creamy soup? Until today I had never tried cauliflower soup in my life, and to be honest, it didn’t sound all that appeasing! But I knew with bacon, mushrooms, cheese and puff pastry, I could make anything taste delicious, and I was right! This combination is SO delicious, and so perfect for a cool autumn evening. I hope you guys enjoy!

Ingredients:
{for the soup}
2 heads of cauliflower
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher Salt & Pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 leek, cleaned thoroughly and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 litre chicken stock
250ml cream
250ml milk
Truffle oil {optional}
{for the puff pies}
1 package/2 sheets ready made puff pastry
5 slices of bacon
2 large shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
Salt & Pepper
1/3 c white wine
2-3 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
1 cup cheese: sharp white cheddar, gruyere or parmesan
1 egg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350degF. Cut the broccoli into florets and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until tender and slightly caramelized.

Meanwhile, make the puff pies: In a skillet, over medium-high heat, fry the bacon on either side until done. Set aside to drain on paper towels, then chop into bite sized-pieces. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the bacon drippings, then fry the shallots and garlic in the drippings until softened, and fragrant {a couple of minutes}. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the wine, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed {about 5-7 minutes}. Stir in the chopped parsley and cheese.
SONY DSCWhen the cauliflower comes out of the oven, bump the heat up to 400degF. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Unfold one sheet of the puff pastry, and without rolling it out, cut as many small circles out as you can, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Spoon some of the mixture on top of each circle, then cut out the same number of circles on the second sheet. Coat one side of each circle with beaten egg, and place over the mixture, sealing at the bottom. Score around each pie with a sharp knife, and slit holes in the top, then brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle a little rock salt on top of each one. Cook for 15-18 minutes, until browned on top.
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In a large saucepan, or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat, and sauté the leek and onion until softened. Add the garlic and cauliflower to the pan, then pour in the stock, cream and milk and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender in batches: all for a creamy soup, or 1/2 for a chunkier soup. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with a little truffle oil {or olive oil} if desired, and place a couple of the puff pies on top to garnish.

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