This post recaps my experience at a first-of-it’s kind Culinary Exploration Workshop, where I demonstrated my Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Chestnut Soup as a low-fat, low-salt recipe.
Several weeks ago, I participated in a first-of-its kind Culinary Exploration Workshop at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in California where I demonstrated my recipe for a Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Chestnut Soup. It was an incredible honor to be part of this event and I am still trying to absorb all that I took in during the two-day session.
Eight chefs (including me) demonstrated low-fat, low-salt recipes, which were all tasted and deliberated upon. The idea was to share and to collaborate ideas among all the folks at the workshop, with the goal of improving upon our recipes, while maintaining low levels of fat and salt in our recipes.
I made a Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup, which was described in the New York Times article as the following: “Ms. Chen prepared a silken cream of cauliflower soup using chestnuts in place of the cream. It totally fooled the mouth into believing the soup contained a dairy product of some sort.”
Over the next few months, I plan on exploring cooking techniques that I’ve never tried or have perhaps just dipped my feet in. I’ll be sharing some of my experiments with you right here on Jeanette’s Healthy Living. I believe there are certain cooking techniques and ingredients that can play a role in creating more flavorful foods while remaining healthy.
For example, by using different and perhaps multiple cooking techniques, I might be able to impart richer, deeper flavor into leaner proteins that are otherwise bland. And by using ingredients I’ve never tried, I might be able to create flavors and textures to make eating more pleasurable for those who have trouble chewing and swallowing.
Jeanette’s Healthy Living has always been a place for me to experiment and I hope you’ll follow along in my continual journey to learn more about developing healthy foods that pack a punch in flavor using whole ingredients.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 leek, trimmed and well rinsed, chopped
- 2 potatoes, peeled, cut up
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup roasted chestnuts
- 1 cup gluten-free bread, cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
- a sprinkling of salt
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast cauliflower for about 20 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large soup pot. Add onion and leek, and saute until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes, turmeric, thyme, bay leaf and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Add chestnuts and roasted cauliflower and continue to cook 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Carefully puree soup in a blender. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, combine bread cubes, olive oil, dried thyme and a sprinkling of salt. Toss well.
- Place in a small skillet over medium heat and toss until golden brown and crunchy.