very tasty and smooth cream that can be served either as a side with beef or poultry for example or as a soup, depending on how much cooking water you add. A perfect dish for cheese lovers.
Information on the recipe
There are two tricks in this recipe that makes a smooth and creamy texture, with a wonderful combination of flavors (cauliflower, pear, and French Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese):
- Cauliflower is added in two steps, the first half at the beginning, the remaining halfway through the cooking process, remaining then almost uncooked. Once mixed, it becomes creamy and smooth, without adding any cream or milk. This is a trick from my brother living in San Francisco.
- Both Cauliflower and blue cheese have a quite strong taste. Pear’s sweetness makes a subtitle flavor balance.
French blue cheese
The blue cheese used in this recipe is the French Fourme d’Ambert. A.O.C. Fourme d’Ambert is made from raw cow’s milk although pasteurized versions are also available now. It has the French A.O.C. label, which means is a name-controlled cheese. Fourme d’Ambert is produced in the Auvergne region of south-central France. The paste is white to straw-colored, with thick pockets of blue throughout the interior paste underneath the rind. It’s not as strong, sticky, or sharp as the well-known Roquefort. Fourme d’Ambert is shaped during production by a wooden mold (“fourme”) into 5 lb. cylinders and is typically aged from 1 to 5 months.
The recommended blue cheese in this recipe is Fourme d’Ambert. You might want to replace it with Bleu d’Auvergne or the English Stilton. If you choose Roquefort, reduce the quantity of cheese otherwise it’ll be too strong!
I’ve created this recipe for a French cheese festival held in Paris. Attending this kind of event is a great way to taste and discover cheeses and recipes using cheese (such as onion soup au gratin, Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame, Omelette with Gruyère, Goat cheese salad, gougères, soufflé…). There is such an event in the US, have you ever heard about the French cheese and wine week held each year in March in New York?
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Pear and Blue Cheese
- 1 whole cauliflower about 900 gr to 1 kg florets
- 2 pears ripe (about 500 gr)
- 100 to 120 gr blue cheese + some small pieces for serving Fourme d’Ambert
- 6 shallots about 150 gr peeled
- 25 gr butter
- Start by peeling and dicing shallots. In a large saucepan, melt butter and cook shallots until soften, for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile peel, core and roughly chop pears. Prepare cauliflower by cutting it into florets. Separate florets in two equal parts, keeping a few small florets for dressing.
- When shallots are soft, boil water in a kettle. In the saucepan add pears, half of the cauliflower and 750 ml water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer. After 10 minutes add the remaining cauliflower and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Then remove from the gas, add 100 to 120 gr of Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese cut into small pieces and mix with a blender.
- Two tricks : 1/ if you’re afraid the blue cheese might be too strong, add blue cheese little by little and adjust according to your taste. 2/ remove some of the cooking water and add it back gradually according to the desired texture, more liquid as soup, more dense for a side, a bit like a potatoes purée.
- Dress according to your taste, for example as on the picture sprinkling small pieces of blue cheese and raw cauliflower florets.
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