Every few months or so, my husband and I get together with 3 other couples and create a amazing dining experience. Our next dinner is going to be in March, and I am creating the first course and dessert.
Today, I spent the morning in the kitchen testing a recipe for the first course. It is a roasted cauliflower soup with pan seared scallops. What is so amazing about this soup? All of the ingredients come together so beautifully. When you combine roasted cauliflower, leeks, onions, garlic, Pecorino cheese and truffle oil the results are amazing. The texture is velvety. The scallops are sweet. It is rich and creamy. Do you all mind waiting a minute? I need to go get another bowl.
OK…I am back. Seriously, if you are looking for a “make them sit up and take notice” kind of soup for a first course. This. Is. The. One.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Seared Scallops ~ Serves 8 (as a first course)
Adapted from Traditional Home Magazine
Cooking Time ~ 35 Minutes
8 fresh sea scallops
1 large head cauliflower, cut in florets
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
salt and ground pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 medium leek, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can low sodium chicken stock
2 cups whipping cream
shaved Pecorino cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cauliflower florets on baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Roast, uncovered, 30 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown.
While cauliflower is roasting, chop onions, leeks and garlic. In a large sauce pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks and garlic. Cook and stir 10 minutes or until soft. Add roasted cauliflower, chicken stock, whipping cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook covered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool about 10 minutes.
Add soup in batches to a blender (caution, if soup is too hot it will explode out of the blender, so make sure the soup is just warm and place a towel over blender cover before blending). Blend until smooth. Return soup to pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat through.
In large skillet heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Pat scallops dry on both sides. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper, cook in hot oil 2 to 4 minutes per side, until browned and just opaque in center.
Place one scallop in each shallow serving bowl. Spoon soup around scallop. Garnish soup with shaved Pecorino cheese. Drizzle with truffle oil. Serve immediately.