Recipe: Cold Cauliflower Soup With Curried Crabmeat

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I love the combination of cauliflower—a very plebeian sort of ingredient—with the rich luxuriousness of shellfish. If you don't want to bother with the crabmeat, add the curry powder to the onions when sautéing them in the oil to make cold curried cauliflower soup.

For the soup:

    • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 small onion, finely diced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 small potato, peeled and diced
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 2 cups water (more or less)
    • salt

For the garnish:

    • 1 cup picked crabmeat (being as I come from a long line of Mainiacs, I recommend Maine crabmeat, but any good fresh crabmeat will do)
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (you could make your own, but it's really not necessary)
    • 2 tablespoons curry powder

Sauté the garlic and onions with a pinch of salt in the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over low heat until the onions are translucent, about five minutes. Add a cup of water and allow to simmer until the water is evaporated, about 10 minutes (this step allows the onions to really cook until all their harshness is cooked away, making for a better-flavored soup).

Add the potatoes and cover with water and cook until tender. Add the cauliflower and the cream and cover with the remaining water. Season with salt. Turn up the heat to medium and bring the soup up until simmering. Cook until the cauliflower is tender. Remove from the heat and puree with an immersion mixer or blender until very smooth. Allow it to cool and chill overnight in the fridge.

When you are ready to serve the soup, mix the crabmeat, mayonnaise, and curry powder together and season to taste. Taste the soup for seasoning and serve in individual bowls with a dollop of the crabmeat mixture on top.

To read Sara's article about the upsides and downsides of serving food at benefits, click here.

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Sara Jenkins is based in New York City, where she has developed a reputation as a fine rustic Italian chef. She runs Porchetta, an Italian sandwich shop, and Porsena, a casual restaurant focusing on classic Italian pastas. More

Sara Jenkins is based in New York City, where she has developed a reputation as a fine rustic Italian chef. As Mario Batali put it, "She is one of the few chefs in America who understands Italy and how Italians eat." Sara is also the author, with Mindy Fox, of Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond, released by Houghton Mifflin in September 2008.

The daughter of a foreign correspondent and a food writer, Sara grew up all over the Mediterranean, eating her way through several cultures and learning to cook what appealed to her. She began her professional career in the kitchen with Todd English at Figs in Boston, then went on to work as a chef in Florence and the Tuscan countryside, as well as on the Caribbean island of Nevis, before returning to the U.S.

In New York City, Jenkins became chef at I Coppi, earning that restaurant two stars from The New York Times. After similar turns at Il Buco, Patio Dining, and 50 Carmine, she began work on her own cookbook.

In September 2008 she and her cousin Matthew opened Porchetta, a storefront in the East Village focusing on porchetta, a highly seasoned roast pork common in Italy as street food or festival food sold out of a truck as a sandwich. Porchetta has been wildly successful in New York City, both with gourmands and ordinary folk alike. Porchetta was awarded the top spot in Time Out New York's "100 best things we ate in 2008" and also received a four-star review from New York magazine.

In 2010, Sara Jenkins will open Porsena, a simple and casual restaurant down the street from Porchetta focusing on classic Italian pastas.
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