It’s still so so cold here. Frosty car windows have been my main inspiration it seems, at least photographically speaking. We’ve found comfort and warmth in more new soup recipes and some new music.
Cauliflower is a cool-season crop so it seems to be quite easy to find on the produce stands at most markets throughout the winter. A member of the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli and cabbage, cauliflower is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin B6. It has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and helps support good heart health and good digestion. So eat up! We found this soup helped make it real easy to fall in love with cauliflower.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Smoky Blue Cheese
- 1 head of Cauliflower, cut into small pieces
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil 1 couple sprigs of fresh Rosemary, removed from stem
- Salt & Pepper
- 3 cups Chicken Stock (or veggie)
- 1-2 Tbsp Ghee or Butter
- ½ cup finely chopped Shallots
- 3 cloves Garlic, crushed and finely chopped
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- Blue Cheese (I used Rogue River Smoky Blue, a little less than ¼ lb)
- Salt & Pepper (again)
Preheat oven to 400. Place cauliflower in a baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil, rosemary, salt & pepper. Place in the oven for about 25 minutes, stirring every once in awhile. Remove from oven and let cool. (By the way, this is a yummy side dish or snack just as it is.) Once the cauliflower has cooled (you could even roast the day before and use the leftovers to make a soup), place it in a blender with enough stock to blend the cauliflower until smooth. Meanwhile, heat a soup pan and add ghee. Add the garlic and shallots. Stir. Add the cauliflower mixture. Add the remaining chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Add the milk and stir. Add the blue cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
As I type this, I am listening to the new EP by our friend Andrew Hunt‘s band, Johnny Appleseed. We first met Andrew at Grant’s Sunday night gig with the Ice Cold Pickers, the house band at Santa’s Pub every Sunday evening in Nashville.
It’s a wonderful group of musicians- some in their twenties, some nearly fifty; some just starting out, some with quite a resume. The common denominator, it seems, is all are very talented and super nice. The band has a revolving cast of singers who all sing a variety of classic country songs but who, I’ve discovered, all have their own sound and their own albums. They seem to be supportive of one another, it is a great group of musicians. I can’t wait to tell you about all of them but for now, since we just went to their cd release and their music fills the room, I present… Johnny Appleseed.
Santa’s is a smoke filled double-wide with an eclectic mix of music lovers of all ages. The ceiling hangs low and Andrew is so tall, the top of his head nearly touches the ceiling. His voice is so familiar and reminiscent of a time long past. He brings to mind early Johnny Paycheck, Webb Pierce, and Lefty Frizzell and he can sing those classics so well but holy cow, listen to his originals!
Andrew has put together a supportive backing band with great guitar licks from Mark Sloan, really fun pedal steel guitar work from Brett Resnick, and even features twin fiddles on some songs. Their song, Harper’s Ferry, is one of my new favorites. I already look forward to hearing more. You can buy the new EP here. And look out for Johnny Appleseed if they come rolling through your town! I’ll close with this video for their song, Double Barrel Boogie.