Pureed Chickpea and Cauliflower Soup
1/2 T. butter
Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut in 1/2 in dice
1 cup cauliflower, chopped small
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large carrots peeled and cut in 1/2 inch dice
2 celery ribs, cut in 1/2 in dice
6 large cloves garlic, smashed, divided
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 cans chick peas drained
2 quarts chicken stock
4 oz. Pancetta diced
1 bundle of fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 quart water
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
5 to 6 (1/1 inch) slices Tuscan style bread, cut into 1/2 in cubes.
Cover the bottom of a Dutch oven with olive oil and butter, saute pancetta till it becomes crispy.
Add cauliflower and potatoes, cook 5 to 10 minutes.
Add onions celery, carrots, 3 cloves of garlic, pinch of crushed red pepper and season lightly with salt.
Sweat the vegetables for 6 to 7 minutes or until they become aromatic and start to soften.
Add chick peas, chicken stock, thyme bundle, bay leaves and 1 quart of water.
Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until the chickpeas are very soft and falling apart, about 1 and 1/2 hours.
Turn off the heat.
Fill as skillet with olive oil until it is about 1/2 inch deep, and the remaining 3 garlic cloves, the rosemary leave and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes over medium heat.
Remove the garlic once it is golden.
Add the bread cubes and cook until they start to become crispy and brown.
Season with salt and remove the croutons from the oil to a bowl reserving re rosemary oil.
Add the infused oil to the soup.
Puree the soup in a food processor, or blender.
Correct the consistency and seasoning, if necessary.
It the soup is too thick, cook it a little more to reduce it, or thin it by adding more stock or water.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls, top with croutons and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.