Romanesco is kind of like your best friend that moved away. You’re always sad when they first leave and then life kind of catches up to you and the day-to-day helps keep you distracted from the loss. And then you see them again and you’re like “what the fractal?! How have I lived so long without you in my life?!”
It’s a cyclical thing.
Anyway, romanesco is back in my life. #Squee
While the East Coast has been shivering endlessly for the past couple months, Southern California has been having an endless summer. Until today. When a sudden downpour happened this morning downtown at the farmers market and everyone ran under the vendors’ tents, confused. Frightened. Cold. It’s since stopped raining, but the dark clouds and chilly breeze call for soup.
You can learn all about this cool fractal veggie here, but scroll on if you just want the good stuff (i.e. the recipe). This soup is filling – nutty, umami, hearty. I didn’t want to use any cream in the actual soup, so I threw a russet potato in to thicken it up and make it velvety. Worked like a charm.
The hardest part about the soup? Breaking up the beautiful romanesco and then blending it. It almost seems blasphemous. But then you taste the soup and know you’re forgiven.
Roasted Romanesco Soup with Cayenne ‘Creme Fraiche’
What You Need for the Soup
- 3 small heads romanesco (or two large ones. Trust your judgment), broken into florets. *NOTE: save some of the smaller pieces for to use as raw garnish on the soup.
- 1 small yellow or brown onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 leeks (just the white part), cleaned and sliced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
- 5 cups veggie or chicken broth (cook’s choice!)
- 4 Tbsp. EVOO, divided (2 Tbsp./2Tbsp.)
- Your favorite seasonings, all to taste
What You Do
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil. Evenly spread out the romanesco florets and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. EVOO and season generously with your favorite seasonings (At the very least, use salt and pepper. I used a “seed salt” blend from here. It’s insanely delicious and chock full of omega-3s.)
- Roast romanesco for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- While your romanesco roasts, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. EVOO in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and your choice of seasonings and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter and add the sliced leeks and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the cubed russet potato and stir.
- Add the veggie/chicken broth and let come to a boil. Then turn heat to low and let simmer until potatoes are fork tender – about 10-15 minutes.
- Once potatoes are cooked through, take the soup off the heat and add in the roasted romanesco. Using an immersion blender (don’t have one? Get one! How do you live?!), blend the soup until creamy and velvety.
- Serve hot in a bowl with Cayenne Creme Fraiche (recipe below) and garnish with small florets of the romanesco. For good measure, add in a parmesan crisp for some crunch.
Cayenne “Creme Fraiche”
What You Need
- 3 Tbsp. whipping cream
- 4 Tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
- Two dashes garlic salt
What You Do
- Throw all ingredients together in a blender or mini chop and blend until combined.
- Serve on top of Roasted Romanesco Soup, to taste.