Cauliflower Soup (with Bonus Poached Egg)

This recipe is for a rich, flavorful cauliflower soup.  But it was inspired by the bonus poached egg on top.

Lately, I have a deep, unexplained desire to write a recipe that included poached eggs.  I don’t know why I have been so excited about them.  I guess they just seem sort of retro and alternative.  You don’t hear too many people talking about poached eggs lately.  But you should.

Poaching eggs is fun.  You get to carefully crack an egg over boiling water.  Then it starts to cook, shifting around in the pan, batted by bubbles.  Sometimes, the water gets all frothy and you can only imagine what is happening in that cloudiness.  Then, after a few minutes, you rescue it with a slotted spoon.  The froth subsides and the egg emerges, smooth and shiny and peaceful.

And clean up is pretty easy.  Just dump the water, rinse with a bit of soap and fresh water and the pot is clean.  There’s no wiping oil splatters off the stove like with fried egg or aggressively scrubbing the pan like with scrambled eggs.

Despite my enthusiasm for serving up a poached egg recipe, I struggled to create a good one.  Over the past month, I tried three times.  I made poached eggs with sage sausage, poached eggs with sweet potato and smoked salmon, and poached eggs in spaghetti sauce.  This last one was even good enough to make twice.  But none were recipes that I wanted to put my name on and put on the blog.

I finally concluded that I needed to pair poached eggs with something extremely flavorful and somewhat fatty.  The egg yolk is so rich that is seemed mismatched with light or sweet foods.  Riffing off the eggs-in-vegetable-sauce idea, I decided to try it with a creamy cauliflower soup.

I ended up making a soup that is quite good on its own.  A big bowl would be lovely on a cold day. But it also served as the perfect platform for a poached egg.   When the rich, yellow yolk broke open and cascaded into the soup, it was everything I had imagined.

Try it.  Tell your friends.  Maybe we can get people to talk about poached eggs again.

Cauliflower Soup (with Bonus Poached Egg)

Bacon, 2 slices

Yellow onion, 1 small (about 1 ½ cups chopped)

Cauliflower, 1 head, chopped

Chicken broth, 4 cups

Garlic, 4 cloves

Coconut milk, ½ cup

Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional:  Eggs

  1. Cut bacon into small bits.   Add to 4 or 6 quart pot over medium heat.  Sauté until bacon bits are browned, about 7 minutes.
  2. Remove bacon from pan and set aside, leaving any rendered fat in the pan.
  3. Add onion. Sauté until onion is soft, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add cauliflower, chicken broth and garlic. Simmer until cauliflower is soft, about 25 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.  Add coconut milk and blend until smooth.  (Have you bought an immersion hand blender yet?  Yes!? Use it.  Otherwise, use your food processor, taking care not to splatter or get burned. Then return the blended liquid to the pot.)
  6. Stir in bacon bits and reheat soup, if needed.  Feel free to adjust the consistency, adding a little water if it’s too thick for your taste, or simmer for a bit longer if you prefer it thicker.
  7. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  8. For bonus egg:  Put 2-3 inches of water into a separate pan.  Bring to a simmer and add egg.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  When egg is done, ladle soup into bowl and top with poached egg.