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Gingered Cauliflower Soup with Ancho Cream

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Gingered Cauliflower Soup with Ancho Cream

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

   Soup:
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    3 cups chopped onion
    2 teaspoons chopped garlic
    1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
    1 pound cauliflower florets
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 tablespoon lemon zest
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    Salt and freshly grated pepper
   Ancho Cream:
    ½ cup heavy cream
    1 ancho chile    

Procedure

    Soup:  In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue cooking until onion and garlic are very soft but not brown, another 5 minutes.  Add the ginger and cook for another minute.  Add the florets, the broth, and the lemon zest.  Bring the soup to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer; cover and cook until cauliflower is soft, about 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Transfer to a blender, in batches, if necessary, and purée until smooth.  Keep warm.  Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice.

Ancho cream: Stem and seed the ancho chile so that it is one flat piece.  Heat a small skillet over medium heat; when hot, add the chile.  Toast on each side until it is pliable and giving off an aroma.  Transfer the chile to a bowl and cover with hot water.  Allow to soak until soft, about 30 minutes.  Transfer chile to a mini-processor or food grinder; purée.  Strain purée into a small bowl.  You should have about 1 tablespoon of ancho purée.  Stir the puree into the cream and put into a squeeze bottle.  If not using immediately, refrigerate.  Ancho chile purée freezes well if you have extra.

Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with the ancho cream.  Serve immediately.