Cauliflower apple soup with chive puree and gruyere crisps recipe

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The cheese crisp recipe makes more than you need to top the silky stark-white soup because you, your family, and friends will definitely start nibbling them. They will disappear quickly, especially if you have a cheese-loving kid around like my daughter Anneliese.

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

For the Gruyere Crisps
  • 1 sheet fillo dough
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 ounces grated Gruyére cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
For the Cauliflower Soup
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) olive oil
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 small stalk lemongrass, crushed lightly
  • Sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 small head cauliflower (about 1 pound after removing any leaves and tough stem)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups (1 pint) whole milk
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Vegetable Stock
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
For the Chive Puree and the Finished Dish
  • 1 cup fresh chives, blanched
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) ice water
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
  • Small arugula or watercress leaves or radish or sunflower or red amaranth sprouts
How to Make It
    To Prepare the Gruyere Crisps
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick mat or parchment paper.
  2. Place the sheet of fillo horizontally on a work surface and brush lightly with about ⅓ of the butter. Be sure to cover all the edges with butter. Scatter about half of the cheese over the buttered fillo, and then sprinkle with a few grains of salt and pepper.
  3. Fold the fillo in half, like a book. Top again with butter, cheese, salt, and pepper. Fold once again, so that you end up with a rectangle about 4 x 12 inches. Brush the remaining butter over the top.
  4. Cut the dough lengthwise into 6 long ribbons, preferably with a fluted pastry cutter. Arrange them carefully on the baking sheet. Then cover with another non-stick mat or parchment sheet, and top with a second baking sheet. You’ll have a sandwich.
  5. Bake about 20 minutes until golden brown and crisp, with bits of cheese feathering out from the sides. Uncover and cool on the bottom baking sheet over a baking rack.
  6. To Prepare the Soup
  7. Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, shallot, garlic, lemongrass, thyme, cauliflower, and apple, and cook until the onion and shallots are limp but not colored, about 5 minutes.
  8. Pour in the milk, stock, cream, and lemon juice and simmer the mixture until the cauliflower is very tender and the liquid reduced by about half.
  9. Discard the lemongrass and thyme sprig. Transfer the warm soup to a blender, in batches, and puree. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve back into the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.
  10. To Prepare the Chive Puree
  11. Combine all the ingredients together in a blender and puree. Chill in the refrigerator until needed.
  12. Putting it all together
  13. If you have 4 dark or bright colored bowls, this is a good place to use them. Pour the soup into the bowls. Set a gruyére crisp over the top of each bowl, balanced on its rim. Break off a bit at either end if the crisps look extra-long across your bowls. Spoon chive puree over the center of the crisps so that some of it spills down into the white soup. Arrange leaves over the crisps and serve right away.
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