What would you say are your top 5 kitchen appliances? Actual stovetop and oven excluded. I’m talking about those workhorses you rely on constantly, across a huge range of different recipes, used almost daily or even multiple times per day? I have some that often get used multiple times per meal. Have you thought of your 5? You might even have a longer list.
Now, imagine that you have to box them all up and put them in a storage facility, completely and utterly inaccessible. How long could you go?
Well, I just got back from a cross-country trek with all my worldly goods, which were in a storage unit just shy of 3,000 miles away. In February of 2011, I locked it up and drove across the country to Portland with Donna’s help, bringing only what I could fit in my car. That’s right, My Cuisinart, my Kitchen Aid, my mandoline, my slow-cooker, even seemingly minor items like microplane zesters and wine openers – I’ve done without them all for two years. I am a fortunate person indeed to have had all these material luxuries in the first place – this was a fine life lesson in not taking what we already have for granted.
So at long last, we’re reunited, my stuff and I. The very first thing I made in my Vitamix (thank you Donna!) was Nom Nom Paleo’s homemade sriracha, which is just stupefyingly good. And then I made the fabulous bacon, leek and cauliflower soup you’ll find below – using my immersion blender. (And then of course I topped the soup with the sriracha.) Totally dairy-free, it manages to be rich without being heavy. And with an immersion blender, it’s also a total cinch. If you don’t have one, it’s also totally possible in a blender, don’t worry!
I love you, kitchen appliances. Let’s never split up again.
BACON LEEK & CAULIFLOWER SOUP
5 slices bacon
2 large leeks, chopped and thoroughly cleaned
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
3 large shallots, minced
4 cups chicken stock
approx. ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
generous amounts of sriracha, at your discretion
Place bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium high and cook until crispy and browned on both sides. Remove bacon, leaving the rendered fat in the pan, roughly chop and set it aside. Add leeks and shallots to pot and saute together for a good 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in cauliflower and cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding the chicken stock. Bring mixture to a boil and then immediately reduce to simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes,until cauliflower starts to soften.
Add most of the bacon back in, reserving a little for garnishing purposes. Same goes for the parsley – add most of it, save a little for topping each bowl. Add salt, apple cider vinegar, and pepper, then purée either with an immersion blender or by batches in a regular blender. Seasonings adjusted to taste.
Garnish with reserved bacon and parsley, sriracha if desired (especially if homemade as per above, because seriously, wow).
— posted by Anne