Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Whisk Wednesdays—Velouté Du Barry (Cream of Cauliflower Soup)

Velouté Du Barry (Cream of Cauliflower Soup)This is an easy soup to make if you don't have to take your daughter to a birthday party, pick her up from the party, go shopping for a different birthday party, take another daughter to a sleepover, make meals in-between, and watch Hoodwinked.

The soup is named after Contesse Dubarry, a favorite of Louix XV, and just so you know ... the cauliflower represents the powdered wigs of the time.
"Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education."
— Mark Twain
First, you soak the cauliflower in vinegar for 5 minutes (or all afternoon while you're shopping!). The vinegar helps retain the whiteness of the cauliflower.

Roux + Stock = Velouté
Next, you cook the leeks and onions in some butter until translucent. By adding the rice flour (which absorbs more moisture than regular flour), you're making a light roux. The next step is to add white stock, such as chicken stock. Now, the mixture is called a velouté. Stir in all but 1 cup of the cauliflower florets and cook for about half-an-hour.

Here's a video showing how to make a velouté sauce.

After puréeing the soup, strain it through a fine-meshed strainer so that you get a velvety, smooth soup. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for a bit on low.

The last step is to make the liaison, which is a mixture of cream and egg yolks that thickens the soup and adds a richness of flavor. This is the trickiest part of the recipe since the eggs can curdle. Slowly whisking some hot stock into the cream and egg mixture is key. After "tempering" the cream and egg mixture by bringing it up to a similar temperature as the stock, combine the rest of the stock and liaison in the pot. Then, stir and watch it carefully on the heat so that it thickens a bit more without letting it boil.

Cook the remaining cauliflower florets by boiling in salted water or steaming in the microwave. These will be part of the garnish, along with some toasted, homemade croutons.


Serves 6

Velouté Du Barry (Cream of Cauliflower Soup) mise en place
1 small cauliflower
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large leek (white part only), chopped fine
1 large onion, chopped fine
¼ cup rice flour
6 cups Chicken Stock or water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 slices firm white bread, crusts removed
1 egg yolk
1 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
Chervil or parsley leaves for garnish

You can find the recipe for Velouté Du Barry (Cream of Cauliflower Soup) in the book Le Cordon Bleu at Home. To see how the rest of the Whisk Wednesdays group fared with their recipe, click here (or check out the sidebar) and then click on each blogger!

Velouté Du Barry (Cream of Cauliflower Soup)Tasting Notes
The soup was smooth, rich, flavorful, slightly salty and perfect with a crunch from a crouton.

Next Class
• Mignons de Porc Arlonaise (Pork Tenderloins with Beer) pages 367-368

. . . . . . . . . .

Running total: $1,445.42 + $7.71 = $1,453.13
($1.29 per serving)

Butter used so far: 12 pounds, 22.5 tablespoons

87% complete

. . . . . . . . . .
::Whisk Wednesdays::
We're cooking our way through a cooking school curriculum using the Le Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook. The "classes" are based on the Le Cordon Bleu curriculum found online and used as a guideline. Not all the items in the curriculum are in the cookbook, but most are. Where the items are not in the book, we try to find a suitable substitution. Find out more here.
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    katie said...

    looks so smooth. very interesting thing about the rice flour. I am in to understanding how the rice flour function in terms of cooking and backing. no gluten.

    I want to explore its impact on shortbread and other goods

    Monica H said...

    This looks so creamy and I love the color too.

    Deeba PAB said...

    I love this Shari. A rich, luxurious soup with a cawlifolwer that holds it's white so beautifully!The humble veggie has gained elegance. Lovely!

    Unknown said...

    That looks gorgeous - so smooth and creamy! Sounds like you've been pretty busy :)

    Manggy said...

    It's like a crash course in French sauce techniques here, I love it! I also love cauliflower, it is such an underrated vegetable. Lovely soup Shari!

    Don said...

    Normally I detest this vegetable and avoid it...I'll definitely make an exception to try this recipe! Cheers Shari :)

    Engineer Baker said...

    Really? 87% complete? Wow! I love cauliflower, but have never made a cream of cauliflower soup. Maybe because I'm still traumatized by Campbells condensed soups :)

    Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

    Oh Shari a perfect soup for a cold day like the silky texture of it :)



    CaptainCrunch said...

    As usual, your pictures are magnifique! The other commenters are right - that soup looks amazingly velvety smooth. Sounds like quite the challenge making this soup - so much for the idea that your Dad and husband could take off for the weekend and leave you to cook in "peace"!!! ROFL

    Anonymous said...

    Yours is perfect!! Mine is more rustic from that frugality thing! LOL! But wow! What a flavor! Love the powdered wigs explanation!!

    EB said...

    I love the idea of these being little powdered wigs!!

    Anonymous said...

    Your soup looks so delicious (and I'm not a soup person!).

    angela@spinachtiger said...

    Your prep photos are better and more interesting than many regular photos of food bloggers. I always look forward to your posts. I see how BUSY you are with your girls, but they sure are lucky to have you, chauffeur and superio chef.

    Sippity Sup said...

    This I can eat in my current wired shut condition. Or most of it at least. Very pretty too. GREG

    Marc @ NoRecipes said...

    Great tip on soaking the cauliflower in vinegar. The color on your soup is gorgeous. I will have to try this the next time I'm planning on pureeing cauliflower.

    Michele said...

    Wow! Such gorgeous soup!

    Jennifer said...

    Ive never had a cream of cauliflower soup. thanks so much for the step by step, now I need to try! beautiful pictures!!

    Debi said...

    Cauliflower is such an underrated vegetable----so versatile when pureed and incorporated into soups/sauces. --Keep trying to picture what this soup would look like with the purple cauliflower I saw at the market the other day...

    Kathy Walker said...

    This looks heavenly. I love cauliflower. I will try this as soon as it cools down a bit!

    Darina said...

    I love cauliflower. The soup looks tantalizing. All of your tips about the "whys" are so interesting. That's what I find missing from a lot of recipe books, which is too bad, because I think these techniques are what ulitmately lead to success in the kitchen.

    Anonymous said...

    Looks divine - I love cauliflower! And beautiful pictures!

    Kayte said...

    Lovely soup, wasn't it? I tasted after the processing before the egg and cream, and I thought it was very very good just to that point. Will make this again and again (prob. w/o egg and cream b/c really, the taste was very nice w/o extra cals and fat). Great photos, as always, and fun to read about your busy day!

    Anh said...

    Wow! How I enjoy this post. I learn so much from you! Thanks! said...

    What a beautiful recipe! I'll modify a few things, but I can't wait to try it!

    Tim said...

    This looks so unbelievably smooth, like molten white chocolate.

    Do you find that the sharpness from the vinegar comes through at all? I've made cauliflower soup in the past, but without adding something a little tangy like dijon mustard the cauliflower flavour was unfortunately bland.

    Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

    Engineer Baker - 87% complete the Basic Cuisine course. :)

    Debi - Love your idea of using purple cauliflower!

    Tim - Thanks for your comment. The taste of the vinegar didn't come through at all in the soup (even after forgetting and soaking the cauliflower all afternoon). It just did its job of keeping the cauliflower white. As for the bland taste of cauliflower soup, it was on the subtle side. Enjoyable, though. I would add a bit of ham or cheese to boost the flavor, but I enjoyed it on its own too.

    Thanks to all who dropped by and left a comment! :)


    lisa is cooking said...

    Your soup is just perfectly smooth. That texture with the cruncy cauliflower and crouton sounds incredible.

    La Cuisine d'Helene said...

    This is a lovely soup. What a beautiful picture!

    NKP said...

    What a gorgeous soup! I have a huge cauliflower that wants using too.
    Now if only I could convince hubby to buy leeks! He gets so upset at how expensive they have gotten recently. I'll just have to sneak them into the cart..

    Anonymous said...

    Since discovering roasted cauliflower--that supplanted my childhood memories of boiled/steamed cauliflower--I'm learning to love this stuff. Maybe this soup will help this affair along.
    Beautiful pics.
    Also, hear you on the "things that are normally simple and straightforward but not when interrupted by various driving/kid duties"--that right there is my entire life.

    Melissa said...

    That's beautiful. You always have the perfect picture. The cauliflower floating in just the right place, etc. And I love love the new blog colors and header. It's great!

    Lori said...

    I love cauliflower soups, but have never had one like this before. It sounds rich and creamy! I love the new look of the blog, btw.

    Sunei said...

    I love the reflection in the spoon on the first photo -- and that succulent looking bite on the bottom photo -- wow! Great photography!

    Anonymous said...

    Pretty new digs Shari! Love the new look! So Retro!

    Chef Jeena said...

    Lovely soup recipe it looks so creamy and delicious.

    Salon de Sucre said...

    aah so soothing! actually just looking at your Cream Jar is soothing!