Well, it would be impossible for me not to center my entry this month on the current state of affairs in our country. How can you not be affected by the dark clouds and just feel absolutely disappointed? I’ve always thought of food and politics as walking hand in hand, no matter how grim that sounds. I believe that what you eat and how you eat is a reflection of you and your values–you are what you eat sort of thing. Why is it that after listening to NPR for a while this week do I feel this hard need to bake a tart with some local plums I’ve hanging around or making a cauliflower soup with that gorgeous orange head of Gardens of Eagan cauliflower I’ve in the fridge? Why do all of these details matter so much more now than ever and why the mean drooling to cook up a storm?
I guess I feel like when I can put a name and even a face to a local producer of something I’ve bought, such as in this case a head of cauliflower, I feel empowered. I feel powerful. I feel that sense of destiny being in my own hands. There are no real middlemen between me and my decisions and there is a no great gulf between me and my values. Does that even make much sense? I don’t know, I haven’t really thought this through completley, but I know it to be true. There is something really beautiful about knowledge and empowerment and therefore confidence, particularly in a time when I feel, as a citizen of this country, that so much could be or is out of my hands, even a dinner I put on the table. And isn’t it lovely to know that you can straight support someone in your community who you can know and learn from and learn about, such as a small farmer, and know that you’re serving your own community, enriching it, and getting something as gorgeous as a fresh head of cauliflower from it in return?
Perhaps I’m crazy, but I feel this to be true. Doesn’t it seem that something as simple as that can sustain us, as a family, as a community and nation? In honor of that head of cauliflower, a soup to bring you back around. A soup to make you patriotic. Now, don’t forget to invite your neighbor over for a cup of this soup and tell your children where the food is from. This is what eating well is all about.
Curried Cauliflower and Potato Soup
olive oil or butter, 1 large yellow onion (chopped), 4 cloves of garlic (chopped), 3 tablespoons of curry powder, medium to large head of local cauliflower (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces), 3 potatoes (chopped into half inch pieces), 1 quart of chicken stock, milk added for taste and consistency, salt and pepper
In a large, heavy soup pot melt a tablespoon of butter and tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sweat the onion, garlic, curry powder, and pinch of salt until softened. Add the cauliflower and potato and saute for a minute with the onion mixture. Then add the stock and bring to boil gently and then simmer until the cauliflower and potato are tender. Blend the soup with either a hand or standing blender until very creamy. Put back on the heat over medium and stir in as much milk as you’d like for consistency; add salt and pepper to taste.