Friday, October 16, 2009

Cauliflower and Arugula Soup with Tibetan Flatbread

Because the weather is chilly, and because I had a bag of arugula from the last farm box taunting me, only to be compounded by a fresh bag of arugula from the recent farm box, I decided to try this soup I found from a blog associated with a California-based CSA, Eat Outside the Box.

Eat Outside the Box farm blog

1 head cauliflower
1 red or white onion, peeled and chopped
3/4 lb zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/4 lb arugula
15 oz stock
15 oz water
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated

First, let me state how important it is to wash your arugula before using it. I don't know about you, but sometimes I get lazy and rely on the "well, if it doesn't kill me, it'll just make me stronger" approach to washing my foods and vegetables. This laziness is only enhanced when the food I'm considering has come from an organic farm. But leaving aside all the various things that can get on the food before it gets to your kitchen, let's just go back to the basic advantages of eating from an organic farm -- other critters dine there, too. In this particular batch of arugula, I found two charming catepillars that I released into my backyard to become whatever they were going to become. They are the same exact color of arugula, and about the size of an arugula stem, so very tricky to find them. So, wash well, people!

Cut cauliflower into florets and add to boiling water. Cook for about 15 minutes, and then drain.

Saute onion in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Add arugula and cook until it wilts. Add liquids and cauliflower and cook until boiling. Add salt and pepper. Puree the soup with whatever technique is best for you. Reheat, if necessary, dress with Parmesan, and serve.

Originally, this recipe called for about half the liquids I've recommended above. That made the soup more like a pureed side dish like you might wish for when you lose your teeth. Still delicious, but not really the consistency I was hoping for. Fortunately, with soup, it's very hard to go wrong -- just keep adding liquids until you get the consistency you want.

While soup is fun, comforting, tasty, and healthful, my main motivation in many dishes is just to try to justify eating more carbohydrates. This is true for soups, too. The main point of soup is to be able to dunk bread into it. I came across this interesting recipe for a steamed bread from the cooking blog La Fuji Mama.The author assured me that this would be the perfect dunking bread. The recipe originally comes from one of Jacques Pepin's wonderful books.

La Fuji Mama
adapted from More Fast Food My Way

3/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c + 2 T water, separated
1 T olive oil

Combine flours, powder and salt in a bowl. Add 1 c water (room temperature). Mix with your hands to form a gooey dough.

Add olive oil to a cold 12" saute pan. Dump dough into the pan. Dip a rubber spatula into the oil in the pan and use it to spread the dough around, evenly. Pour 2 T water around the edge of the dough and cover the pan with a lid. Cook 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Flip bread over and cook another 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Cut and serve.


jeri.seidman said...

Thank you for your blog! I also get a CSA box from JBG. The okra and eggplant have been disappearing much easier since we found your blog. I doulbed the spicy Thai eggplant with basil and used all my eggplant AND basil--it was a huge hit with my husband (I threw in a pound of shrimp); my kids loved the curried chicken and okra--loved it! I know you don't cook gluten-free but I also appreciate that many of your recipes are gluten-free--you may serve them over noodles or with regular bread but I can easily adapt that. Thank you so much for your blog!!

Holly Tompkins said...

I'm totally making this flatbread with some stew this weekend! So easy!