Back in January, before I entered the “all work, all the time” stage of my book writing process, I said that I would participate in a blogging challenge with OXO. This one featured the new cookbook Healthyish by Lindsay Maitland Hunt and an array of OXO tools. I opted to make the Loaded Potato and Cauliflower Soup and soon after, received a copy of the book and some of the tools necessary to make a batch.
I unpacked the book and the tools, took some pretty pictures, and then got swept away in my own book frenzy. However, with the post deadline approaching, I did the hard mental work of switching gears (I’ve been so singularly focused that I’m fairly certain that my brain made a loud, screeching sound as I opened the book) and planned to make some soup.
I read the through the recipe, made a grocery list, and walked to pick up the ingredients I needed. Back home, I chopped, stirred, and pureed. As I worked, I realized that making someone else’s recipe was exactly what I needed. I didn’t have to take notes, measure the size of my dice, or pay close attention to the exact duration of the cooking time (when I develop recipes, I often run a stop watch to ensure that I exactly capture the timing).
It was also a pleasure to have some new OXO tools to use. I’m been in such a rut with my gear that the new equipment brought a really pleasurable lift to the act of cooking.
Here’s what they sent:
- The Pro 8 inch Chef’s Knife – Wickedly sharp right out of the package and the perfect weight for flying through vegetables.
- The Swivel Peeler – Grippy, sharp, and put my stained Y-model to shame.
- The Wooden Corner Spoon – Made of solid wood and carved to the perfect angle for getting into the corner of the pot.
- The Kitchen and Herb Scissors – Perfect for slicing the bacon into slivers for garnish, and the blades come apart for easy cleaning.
- The Coarse Grater – This grater laughed at my hard cheddar and reduced it to shreds with ease. It’s also far simpler to clean than my ancient box grater.
- The 12 inch Tongs – They are now the longest reaching tongs in my kitchen. They’re good for flipping bacon, retrieving toast, and grabbing boxes of crackers from on top of the fridge.
We ate this twice for dinner and each time I was reminded of the importance of taking time to eat good food and relax a little, even during the most action packed times. I look forward to cooking more of the recipes from Healthyish (though probably not until the book is turned in).
Loaded Baked Potato and Cauliflower Soup from Healthyish and OXO
- 4 large slices 8 oz/225 g extra-thick cut bacon
- 2 onions 12 oz/340 g, chopped (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large russet potatoes 2 lbs/910 g, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch (12-mm) pieces (about 5 cups)
- 1 medium head cauliflower 1 1/4 lbs/570 g, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
- 8 cups 2L chicken stock
- Sour cream chopped fresh chives, and grated Cheddar cheese, for serving
- Heat a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Place the bacon slices flat in the pot and cook, turning a couple of times, until crips and most of the fat has drained from the bacon, 8 to 12 minutes total. Using tongs, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pot.
- Add the onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and soft, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Stir in the potatoes, cauliflower, and stock, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a strong simmer and cook, stirring here and there, until the potatoes are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Puree the soup, using a blender in batches or a handheld immersion blender. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if you life.
- Slice or tear the cooked bacon into bite-size pieces and sprinkle it over the bowls of the soup. Serve topped with sour cream, chives, and cheese.