Cauliflower & Mandioquinha Soup

June 26, 2009

I’ve been trying to find a bit of balance lately. I’m talking about the fact that it is winter here. Well, more like a Kentucky October, but they call it winter. Despite the fact that temperatures aren’t plummeting into the 30s, I’m still having overwhelming cravings for cold weather foods. At the same time for many of you, it is summer and a darn hot one from all info I’m getting.

So as you can imagine, staying in-season with cooking and food posts is a bit impossible. Or is it?

This week I’ve been trying to think about my favorite recipes (or ideas for new ones) that may comfort me, but use all that wonderful produce that many people are harvesting from the garden. So yesterday this Golden Potato-Cauliflower Soup came to mind. I’ve been making it often ever since I found it in Health Magazine in 2004.

The good news is that it uses garden favorites, but is suitable for winter-warming. I’ve changed it a bit over the years and yesterday I decided to use it with some mandioquinha I picked up at the market last weekend.

You remember it, right? That golden, sweet root vegetable native to South America also called the Peruvian parsnip, batata baroa or arracacha. I’ve decided I need to overdose on it for the next three months while I’m still here, by the way.

The substitution worked wonderfully. It was the potato version taken up a notch, smooth and creamy, comforting yet still light. While I know most of you don’t have access to it, I started thinking about all the other root veggies that might work well in this recipe. Turnips, red potatoes, parsnips? I don’t know. It may be worth a try.

Cauliflower & Mandioquinha Soup
Adapted from Golden Potato-Cauliflower Soup, Health 2004

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup onion, diced
1/3 cup celery, diced
2 cups mandioquinha, chopped (or your root veggie substitute)
1 medium cauliflower with broken into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups chicken stock
½ to 1 cup milk
Chives and grated parmesan for garnish

Heat olive oil in a soup pot and saute garlic, onion and celery for 2 to 3 minutes. Add madioquinha and cook for about 3 more minutes. Add in cauliflower and cook and additional 7 minutes. Veggies should be starting to brown a bit at this point, or at least getting tender. Salt and pepper to taste now or you can wait until the soup is combined.

Add three cups of chicken stock. This should almost cover the veggies, but not completely. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about fifteen minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.

Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender (or transfer to a standard blender) and blend all ingredients well, leaving no lumps. Turn the heat back on and stir in ½ to one cup of milk depending on desired consistency and heat through.

Transfer to bowls and garnish with chives and cheese. Take pictures. Oh, wait. You don’t have to do that one. Silly me.

Serves about 4.

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  • Joy June 26, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    This is such a lovely article I put a link on my Facebook Comfort Food page!

  • Sweta June 26, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Mandio-what???Sounds interesting,and the soup looks very nice and creamy!!
    You had me laughing at the “take pictures” part because that’s exactly what my two year old tells me now when I put food on the table-“take pictures mama”!

  • Heather June 26, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    i’ve never heard of this root vegetable with many syllables that i cannot pronounce 🙂 but i’m intrigued! i love the idea of a cauliflower soup. cold weather or not, i just love them!

  • Chow and Chatter June 26, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    yum cauliflower in soup love it will give it a try sometime

  • cathy June 26, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Yum! My parents just brought me 2 big boxes of Mississippi sweet potatoes (divine!) – I think that I might have to try your soup with sweet potato!

  • 5 Star Foodie June 26, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    The soup looks warming and delicious! I would love to stumble upon Mandioqunha in my supermarket one day – I never know what surprise ingredients will await me there 🙂

  • Alison June 26, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    So cool to hear about a new veggie. I wish we had more exotic foods easily available in the US.

    Funny to think that this is winter in the southern hemisphere. Just seems so strange.

  • sangeeta June 27, 2009 at 3:53 am

    that is an unknown veggie for me…..the soup looks like a perfect comfort food and your “take pictures” applies to many of us here…:D:D

  • Erica June 27, 2009 at 4:38 am

    Josh is a HUGE cauliflower soup fan and I often make a lighter version (similar to this one) in the winter. So good, so creamy. I love adding tons of red pepper for kick mmm.

  • kat June 27, 2009 at 7:41 am

    I’m thinking parsnips might be just the substitute

  • Reeni♥ June 27, 2009 at 7:55 am

    This looks so creamy and delicious with that special root vegetable. I can see why you would want to eat up as much as you can!

  • lesley June 27, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Yum! … that looks very delicious and creamy. And even though it’s a hundred degrees here, I’d love to be able to try it!

  • Michelle @ Find Your Balance June 28, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I bet this would work with parsnips. And let me tell you, it’s NOT hot in Boston yet so I might make it.

    Today at school (at IIN) I saw Paul Pitchford speak and re: coconut oil he said that he used to love and recommend it but realized his patients did not do well on it. Further research showed him that in indigenous cultures they’d use the oil in their hair or in conjunction with coconut milk or meat, not alone as food.

    Just thought that was interesting to share since you just did a bunch of coco oil research. What do you think?

  • Tangled Noodle June 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Love creamy soups! This might change my mind about cauliflower. 😎 I want this mandioquinha but until we make it to Brazil or any other part of SA someday, I’ll have to settle with my usual root veggies here!

  • Lori June 29, 2009 at 7:23 am

    So glad to the soup peaked some interest! I should have listed the pronunciation. It is sounds like man-juh-keen-ya when said quickly. 🙂

    I love all the suggestions for subs.

    Joy – Welcome and thanks for you comment and link.

  • Lori June 29, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Oh, and Michelle, thanks so much for the additional coconut oil info. I emailed you about it.

  • Anna June 30, 2009 at 6:04 am

    I miss mandioquinha so much, do you know if we have this root here? I have never seen it anywhere.
    Maybe you bring some with you to plant over here. 😉

  • Lori June 30, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Anna – To my knowledge it can’t be found in the US, but I will be looking harder once I get there. I would love to know what it takes to legally bring in a new veggie like that and grow it there. That would be interesting!