Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Sea Scallops and Caviar
Roasting the cauliflower before preparing the soup brings out the sweetness in this earthy vegetable. Don’t let it overbrown. This soup can be served as a hearty country-style potage, or thinned with additional broth to a smoother consistency.
Wine: “I often like to keep my dinner to two wines,” Frank says. “Everyone feels better the next day. Based on the robust flavors of the first course, I’d skip whites all together.”
“I’d start with a Sea Smoke Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara. It’s light enough for the scallops and will hold up to the roasted components of the dish.”
- 8 fresh or frozen sea scallops
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut in florets
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and ground white pepper
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 medium leek, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth
- 2 cups whipping cream
- Chicken broth (optional)
- 1 ounce American black sturgeon caviar
- Shaved Pecorino cheese
- Truffle oil (optional)
Thaw scallops, if frozen. Pat dry with paper towels; cover and chill until serving time. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place cauliflower on 15x10x1-inch baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Toss to coat. Roast, uncovered, 30 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown.
In large saucepan, heat 2 more tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion, leek, and garlic to saucepan. Cook and stir 10 minutes or until soft.
Add roasted cauliflower, broth, and cream to saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Cool slightly.
With immersion blender, blend soup until smooth, or transfer to blender or food processor, half at a time, and blend or process until smooth. Return soup to saucepan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat through. Add additional broth to reach desired consistency.
In large skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Cook scallops in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until brown and just opaque in center, turning once halfway through cooking time.
Place one scallop in each serving bowl. Spoon soup around scallop. Garnish soup with caviar and Pecorino cheese. Drizzle with truffle oil. Makes 6 to 8 servings.