Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Prosciutto and Parmesan
The humble cauliflower really shines here, and the crispy prosciutto slices provide a salty counterpoint. Delicious.
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter
• 2 c chopped leeks, white & light green parts only (4-5 leeks)
• 12 c cauliflower florets (from 2 large heads; about 2 pounds each)
• 8 c chicken stock
• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 c grated Parmesan cheese
• ½ c creme fraiche
• kosher salt
• 4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• ½ c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, lidded stock pot. Add the leeks and saute, stirring, until soft and fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets, chicken stock and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cover pot. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Puree the soup using an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor. Whisk in ½ c of the cheese and the creme fraiche. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed. (The soup can be made up to 2 days in advance; cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat).
Cut the prosciutto into julienne strips, 3-4 inches long and ¼’ wide. Heat the olive over medium heat in a medium skillet. When hot, add the prosciutto and saute, stirring constantly, until crisp and browned, 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer prosciutto to paper towels to drain.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with some prosciutto, chopped parsley and the remaining Parmesan cheese.