Cereal killer soup
I made this soup in a breakfast-for-dinner episode of Surreal Gourmet. My guests were a group of Toronto taxi drivers who worked the all-night shift and were accustomed to eating dinner after the sun rose. They came from all walks of life and all corners of the globe—and dispensed their cab driver wisdom liberally.
Lucky for them, they weren’t really getting cold cereal for supper. And lucky for me, I got to ride shotgun in my kitchen with some very wise men.
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon Indian spice blend (i.e. garam masala)
1 cup Cherrios
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 leek, pale green section only, diced
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and roughly chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
salt and white pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ – ½ cups milk or half and half (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add spice blend. Add Cherrios and toss thoroughly. Transfer spiced Cherrios to a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until crispy. Reserve.
In a medium pot over medium heat add 2 tablespoons butter and sauté onion and leek for about 4 minutes, or until translucent. Add cauliflower and 5 cups of broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is completely soft.
Puree entire contents of pot in a blender until smooth. If necessary, thin with reserved broth until soup is your desired consistency. For extra smooth soup, run puree through a fine strainer. Discard any solids. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Finish with lemon juice.
To serve, re-heat to a gentle simmer. If you choose to increase the richness quotient, add approximately 2 tablespoons of milk or cream per serving while reheating. Pour soup into a cereal-style bowl and sprinkle generously with spiced Cherrios.
Yield: 6 servings
Uncommon goods: Chicken or vegetable broth. Broth is lighter in color than stock and will help contribute to a whiter soup. It can be found in most grocery stores, but is easily confused with stock
Level of difficulty: Easy
Active prep: 45 minutes
Advance work: Can be made up to 2 days in advance
Music to cook by: Henry Mancini, Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Music from the motion picture score. Too bad Audry is no longer accepting breakfast invitations.