Over the Christmas holidays, Brent and I spent an evening away at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa in Cambridge, Ontario. This was by far one of the most amazingly beautiful places that I have ever stayed. The room was pricey, but with our favorable exchange rate, and the fact that we hardly ever get the opportunity to be away without Sebastian, we decided it was well worth it.
The hotel is picturesque, perched atop a snowy white hill at the end of a very long and windy driveway. As you walk in the front door you are greeted with the aroma of fresh apple cider, and the smell of cedar burning in the fire. The hotel has an interesting history if you care to read up on it here.
What was even more enjoyable than the stay, was the 3-course brunch we enjoyed the next morning. If you live anywhere near the Cambridge/Toronto area, I highly recommend that you try their weekend brunch special. It was some of the best food I have ever eaten in my life. My meal started with a roasted cauliflower soup, which was poured from a pitcher into my bowl which was lined with whipped goat cheese and various other sauces and I couldn't quite pinpoint. I have never tasted a soup so incredibly flavorful.
I have been dreaming about this soup ever since that day, hence the reason why I tried to come up with a recreation at home. I'll admit, it's not quite as good as the soup in the restaurant, but it's pretty good for an amateur chef like myself. It's creamy and garlicky, with roasted flavors from the cauliflower. The goat cheese adds a much-needed tang to pair with the otherwise mild flavors of the cauliflower and potatoes. I added a few chopped hazelnuts on top to give it an extra crunch.
CREAMY ROASTED GARLIC, CAULIFLOWER, AND POTATO SOUP
prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 40 minutes
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 - 3 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp sumac
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
5 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 cups broth
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup cream
4 oz goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Place the cauliflower and garlic onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and sumac. Toss.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 25 - 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the cauliflower is soft and golden brown.
While the cauliflower is roasting, fry the onions in butter in a large soup pot until caramelized. Add the potatoes, and fry for a minute or two.
Fill the pot with 6 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer. Once the potatoes are soft, add the roasted cauliflower to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Puree the soup until thin.
Add the lemon juice and cream. If you prefer the soup a bit thinner, you can thin it out with more cream or broth.
Garnish each bowl of soup with a generous serving of goat cheese, chopped hazelnuts, and a sprinkle of sumac.