The grill and I bonded. For the longest time, we’ve just been convenient acquaintances-I’d smoke a chicken breast here, or grill a zucchini there; but for the most part, I’d experience the grill vicariously through a bite or two of mom’s burgers. It’s safe to say that our relationship was evanescent at its most intimate. But yesterday, we had a moment.
I had been coming up with new lunch ideas to break the daily grind and settled on cauliflower soup. It’s like pea soup, only lower in calories and carbs—thus not likely to weigh me down in the middle of the day. The problem with cauliflower is that while it excels in nutrition:calorie density ratio, it tends to be less motivated when it comes to flavor. It needs some coaching. So I was pondering how I might do that without adding anything (herbs and spices never work out. They offer only empty promises.) And it hit me.
Not only does fire make stuff cancerous, but it also offers amazing flavor!
*Disclaimer: eat carcinogenic foods in moderation*
I don’t know about you, but whenever I see the label ‘Fire-Roasted’, ‘Charred’ or ‘Grilled’ on anything at the store, I buy it. Canned tomatoes? In the cart. Corn kernels? Sure! Salsa? SHUTUPANDTAKEMYMONEY. Cat food? Why the hell not?
I have steered clear of the grill, mostly because I’ve always associated “hassle” with the thing. Turn on the gas, light it up, wait, scrub the grill, wait…you get the drill. And then there’s the terrifying black grease-sludge-charcoal that’s all over the grill. It grows. And laughs at you when you try to scrub it off.
But that would not deter me today.
The wasp protecting its two nests inside the grill….?
NAY! Me hunger for charred cruciferous brain-matter-looking-stuff shan’t be quelled!
So I attacked. With newspaper. And very high heat.
Have you ever tasted smoked wasps’ nest? It’s not bad. I hope I don’t die.
I daresay my martial victory made the soup taste all the better. Or it could have been the wasps’ nest.
1 head Cauliflower
2 stalks Celery, diced
¼ cup diced Onion
1 clove Garlic, minced
I cube Beef bullion (or 1 ¼ cups beef stock)
1 ¼ cups Water
- Preheat grill to 400-425
- Remove all greenery from the brain cauliflower and slice vertically into 1” slabs (you’ll only get 2-3, depending on the size of the head—the goal is to cut it think enough that it does fall apart)
- Lube up the slices and grill for about 20 minutes (until tender and there’s a good char)
- Meanwhile…sauté the celery, onions and garlic on medium-high heat in a saucepan until translucent (adding a bit of salt in the beginning will help—it’s called “sweating”)
- Add the water and bullion cube (or stock) and bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Turn heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes
- Once cauliflower is done, cube it and throw it in a blender with the stuff in the saucepan
- Blend on high until velvety.
- At this point, you can add cream/yogurt/sour cream/some other creamy substance to make it richer. I added a tablespoon of Greek yogurt.