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.