Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cauliflower Soup with Scallops

I’ve just gotten through a pretty intense couple of weeks. My apologies for the lack of posting here, as well as my lack of commenting on anyone’s blogs. But I finally got a proper night’s sleep on Friday, and woke up not feeling terrified of everything I needed to do – instead, I woke up feeling like it’s the weekend, which hasn’t happened in a long time (weekends have just been slightly more mellow work days, recently).

In other words, I’m back.

I admit Laurent has been picking up the slack, and doing most of the cooking recently (so I’ve at least been eating well, if not sleeping well). But I haven’t been completely absent from the kitchen, and so I have a soup to share with you today. It’s adapted from a recipe by Louis-François Marcotte.

Cauliflower and scallops are not something I would have thought to combine, yet once the idea was popped into my head, it seemed to make sense. This soup confirms that they actually work very, very well together. Marcotte’s original recipe uses light cream, but milk works as well, although you inevitably lose richness. He also adds a few mushrooms pickled in vinegar, but I personally think this overwhelms the delicate flavours of the main ingredients.

Serve this as an elegant first course, or a light main course (in which case you might consider adding more scallops).

Cauliflower soup with scallops
Adapted from Sexy: Cuisiner pour Deux, by Louis-François Marcotte

Serves 6 as a first course

1 leek, white part only, washed, sliced lengthwise, and chopped
1 head of cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
1 1/2 litre (6 cups) chicken stock
360 ml (1 1/2 cup) whole milk
18 raw scallops
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Chopped dill, for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 dollops crème fraîche (optional)

In a large saucepan, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium-low heat. Toss in the leeks, salt lightly, and cook, stirring frequently, until leeks are tender. Add the stock and cauliflower, bring to a boil, and simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool and purée in a blender, or with a hand mixer. Return to saucepan and stir in the milk. Warm over medium-low heat, until soup is heated through. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Pat the scallops dry and season with salt. Melt the remaining tbsp of butter with the tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the scallops under browned, about 1 minute on each side. Remove from the pan.

To serve: Divide the soup among heated bowls. Put 3 scallops into each bowl, spoon the crème fraîche in if using, sprinkle with chopped dill, season with freshly ground black pepper, and serve immediately.


  1. Cauliflower is SO pushed to the side so often, that it's awesome to see it shine as a star in your gorgeous soup! I think it's a perfect base for those beautiful scallops!

    On another note, glad you caught up on some sleep. I always feel a little 'incomplete' when I don't post for a The bane of the food blogger! LOL

  2. I would not have thought of pairing the 2 but like you after some thought they do work well, but delicate. Glad life is finding a bit of normalcy.

  3. I also;love the great combo of fresh cauliflower soup & lovely scallops!

    This soup looks dive & very Stylish too! Perefct for Easter!

  4. That sounds wonderful, and looks absolutely beautiful! Glad life is slightly more relaxing these days.

  5. Welcome back! I'm anxious to try this combination. I never dreamed these ingredients would work together, but your description makes it sound like a lovely pairing. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. Yeah, I know what you mean, the April rush, it is madness.

    A while back, if you remember I made a no-cream creamy pumpkin soup with bay scallops and it does combine well with any veggies.

  7. Well, certainly not the most logical combination in my mind either to have cauliflower and scallops combined but it looks good for sure! And welcome back!