Tuesday, September 18, 2012

If it were Green it would be......

So, I have been craving that flavor you get when you cook beans and ham hocks or split pea soup with ham hocks. If you've been following posts you know  I grew up on southern home style cooking. There is just something about that flavor of the smoked pork cooked in the juices of these southern style dishes that if you have a "hankerin" for it, nothing else will do... it just will not go away. Thinking, thinking..... I got it. Tweak the cauliflower soup, it morph's into just about anything.
Did it.... and I am sooooo amazed at how close this was. If it were green, I would have thought I was eating split pea with ham hocks. Close my eyes, I'm there.
I shared a recipe a while back for the Cauliflower Cheese Soup. Here's is a take off, that tastes competely different with the extra flavor of the bacon ends & pieces. This was so rich in flavor and creamy that it did not need the cream added that my orginal recipe used. The Trader Joes Uncured Bacon Ends and Pieces are actually like chunks of ham not sliced bacon so it is perfect for that chunky ham hock effect.
    -A little Trivia: growing up we had our own smoke house and smoked our own ham and bacon from the pigs we raised-
Southern Ham Hock Cauliflower Cheddar Soup
Ham chunks really are in here at the bottom 
2 cps chicken broth
1 lg head cauliflower-cut in large pieces
1pkg Trader Joe's Uncured Bacon Ends -large chunks
2 stalk celery, chunks
1 carrot-chunks (optional)
1 lg onion-chunks
1 cp water-or more to desired thickness
1 cp or more shredded cheddar (I like sharp)
Salt & pepper to taste
garnishes: finishing oils/salts of your choice,  thin sliced leek...the options are limitless 

Add all ingredients except cheese and water to a large pan. Bring to a boil and turn down to a low simmer for 90 mins. Ladle mixture and remaining water into blender and process until very smooth and desired consistency. (May need to do this in 2 batches). Mixture expands so be very careful not to over fill 1/2 way especially if it is hot. Return pureed mixture into saucepan. When hot stir in cheese to taste.
With GF Tamari Roasted Pepita's
As you know, I love to garnish with flavored oils and salts. I used just a drizzle of lemon oil.
This one I also added a few GF Tamari Roasted Pepita's I get from my health food store. They're a great little snak and adds a great crunch to an aray of dishes.

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