Friday, March 25, 2011

F'esto Winter/Spring Roasted Soup

It may be the first week of spring but it still is snowing in some areas and raining in others!  So I’ve been in a bit of a quandary with dinner menus.  I’m in the mood for salads and springtime lighter fare….but at the same time some of the best produce at the market is still rather wintery.
I thought I’d try to combine both winter and spring into one meal; hopefully manage to layer and unite the season together creating something special.  The unusual addition of a pear to the cauliflower soup adds a very delicate and subtle sub flavor that you really discover after the first few bites. 
I’ve topped the soup with f’esto; since my husband was raised in Italy he is adamant that if you are going to call something pesto…it must be basil, garlic, walnuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil…that’s ALL!  If it is made with anything else it is certainly not pesto; his rant, not mine!  So in deference to my adorable hubby I have shortened faux pesto into f’esto and encourage everyone to adapt their vocabulary to include f’esto; it will make Filippo soooo happy!
Back to the soup; the combo of the f’esto and the cauliflower soup with the bacon treats was delicious!  Do try it and let me know what YOUR family thinks!

Ingredients for the soup:
1 head cauliflower broken into flowerets
1 stock celery chopped
1 clove elephant garlic thickly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons
¼ cup fresh chopped herbs (basil, lemon thyme, parsley and oregano)
2 onions chopped
1 pear peeled and sliced
3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
½ cup cream
4 slices cooked bacon sliced on diagonals
Place cauliflower and garlic on baking sheet; sprinkle with salt, pepper then drizzle with olive oil.
Mix with your hands to coat the cauliflower with oil.
Roast for 30 minutes in 425degree oven turning every 7 minutes
Sauté chopped onions, celery and pear in 2 tablespoons olive oil until tender and transparent.
Add roasted cauliflower mixture to onions.
Add 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock; cover and simmer for 20 minutes
Blend with immersion blender
Add the chopped herbs and cream; blend again and bring back to heat but do not let hard boil.
Ingredients for the F’esto:
½ cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, oregano and a bit of rosemary)
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ clove garlic rough chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil
Put all ingredients (except olive oil) into a mortar and smash until thick paste is formed
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and mix well.
Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil then add last 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Ladle soup into bowls, top with 1 tablespoon of F’esto an swirl with a knife.
Top with bacon pieces.


  1. soups...this looks so great...I will, for sure, try it! Need to print recipe! Ally! :)

  2. Very nice presentation! Delicious soup!!!

  3. I can't wait to try this...It looks and sounds incredible!