Tangy Cauliflower Soup

I have been on a huge yogurt kick for a while now. I make 2 1/2 quarts at a time, using my dehydrator to incubate it, which provides me breakfasts for more than a week plus extra for other applications. It’s been a while since I did that original yogurt post; perhaps I should do an updated one with my current tips and tricks. Anyway, since I’m pretty much always swimming in yogurt these days, I’m always thinking of things to do with it other than scarfing it down with Grape Nuts, berries, and coconut nectar every morning.

Wide-mouth canning jars are perfect for making yogurt.

I recently bought some commercial yogurt to refresh my cultures and was appalled by how nasty it was: runny, sweet, and so yukky that I gave all but the two tablespoons I needed to the raccoons (who were not nearly as picky as me about it). I should have scooped some out into a bowl for this picture so you can see how thick it is, but trust me, it’s thick.

Anyway, in addition to a ton of delicious yogurt, I had a head of cauliflower and an outside temperature of EIGHT DEGREES last night. Man, I HATE winter. I feel brittle. My feet actually hurt all day, indoors, because they are so cold they feel like they are going to break into pieces. I’ve been talking to the wonderful Smucky and cursing the cold while he at the very same time complains of the heat in Sydney. It’s a stupid 8 degrees here and it’s 114 there! I’d rather have his problem, BUT at least I love soup, so here’s what I made for dinner last night.

Tangy Cauliflower Soup

1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (if I don’t have this, I’ll often just sprinkle some celery seed in)
1 medium potato, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped (doesn’t need to be pretty)
veggie broth to just cover veggies – about 4-5 cups
2 bay leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup plain nondairy yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon

Heat some oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the onions, carrot, and celery and cook until the onions are beginning to brown. Add the cauliflower and potato, then cover them with the veggie broth and add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the cauliflower is completely soft, about half an hour. Remove from the heat, remove bay leaves, and stir in the yogurt, then puree until silky using an immersion blender, or by cooling and then blending in batches in a regular blender. Season with salt and pepper, then add the lemon juice, more or less to suit your tastes.

Serve with crusty bread, crackers, or croutons. That’s a whole wheat miche, which is a sourdough bread and was nearly as tangy as the soup!

I don’t have much wildlife news to report. I don’t see too much of the raccoons this time of year because they’re older and therefore nocturnal, although we do have two young enough to greet me most mornings. No recent pictures of our juvies, but I did notice a wild (probably earlier-released) adult peeping at me from a nest box the other morning:

My bird feeding station is proving very popular this winter. My favorite bird right now is the red-bellied woodpecker. These pictures are a couple months old but he’s still around. (I say “he” but we really have several.)

I haven’t seen the mangy fox for a while, which is a bad sign. I’ve stopped putting chicken out for him, but I still have interlopers showing up looking for handouts. The interesting thing is they mostly seem to get along. This video shows an opossum, raccoon, and fox in my yard at the same time.

And here is some footage of my favorite skunk, Super H, who is named after my favorite Korean grocery store and the “H” on his back.

5 Comments »

  1. Josiane Said,

    January 23, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

    And it’s precisely in this weather that we happen to be completely changing our heating system… Could our timing have been any worse? I really hope it warms up more than a bit before they come and cut the heat off for I-don’t-know-how-long while they make the switch from the old to the new system! It’ll be awesome when it’s done, though – but while it’s being done? Yikes!

    I was thinking lately that I hadn’t made a cauliflower soup in forever. Yours looks so thick, hearty, and delicious – the perfect thing to warm us up these days. I have a feeling it’ll soon become a new favorite around here!
    Also: yes to an updated yogurt post! I’d love to learn about the tips and tricks you’ve developed since the last post.

  2. renae Said,

    January 23, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

    Ugh, I can’t imagine losing our heat for any amount of time right now! I hope it’s out for as brief a time as possible. I recall you mentioning your old system was very noisy (as is ours, I hate it!) so I hope the new system is nice and quiet….and WARM!

  3. Eileen Said,

    January 24, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

    Cauliflower and yogurt–yes please! I’ve never succeeded in making yogurt at home, but I’m thinking it’s time I gave it another try. :)

  4. Lisa Goldstein Kieda Said,

    January 26, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    Quite the menagerie, Ms. Doolittle! Enjoy the wildlife and the awesome food!

  5. Jes Said,

    January 26, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    AAhhhhhh raccoon in a box! <3

    That soup looks really awesome too–I love the thought of tangy yogurt in soup, kindof like South Indian cuisine. But different. Mmm.

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