At this point, you know soup is a fallback dinner for me. All you really need is one vegetable you can make the star. If you happen to have some leeks on hand, and homemade chicken stock, both of which I did yesterday, so much the better. And if you have an immersion blender, as Jamie Oliver would say, you're laughing.
The base of this soup was some cauliflower from our CSA box. I'd recently seen this post at Serious Eats for cauliflower cheddar soup and it had gotten stuck in my head; unfortunately, I didn't have the right kind of cheese. Cauliflower leek soup would have to do.
I still wanted to do something special, though. So I crisped up some bacon, removed it from the pan, and sauteed the leeks, potato (another non-necessity but great addition to any pureed soup), and cauliflower in the leftover fat. Plus a little butter. Oh, come on now. You know I don't keep a kosher kitchen.
When the soup was pureed, splashed with cream, and well-seasoned, I ladled it into these fabulous new soup and sammie sets my sister recently sent me as a cheer-up gift. One of the upsides of being mopey is that people make very kind efforts to lift your spirits.
It worked! I love these sets. Thanks, Jen!
"Hey Hungry Dog," you're saying, "that ain't no freakin' sandwich."
True. I did have some bread in the house but it was a few days old--not sandwich material. So I made some crunchy croutons to serve alongside the soup. This is actually one of my favorite ways to eat soup, and now I have the perfect soup-and-crouton vessel. This way you can add the croutons as you like and they don't get soggy. And making croutons is a wonderful way to use up slightly stale bread.
Now let's talk about the soup.
Creamy and smooth, with a double onion hit from the leeks and chives, undernotes of smoky bacon, with bacony bits adding texture and saltiness to each mouthful. Perfection. I'm sorry to sound braggy, but this soup rocked.
It's hard to garner as much enthusiasm from the husband about soups; he likes them fine and will eat every last drop, but ultimately I don't think he values a good soup the way I do. To me, a homemade soup can be delicious, satisfying, healthy (um, maybe not this one), and thrifty all at once. What more could you want?