Typically in May, we are thinking about summery foods, but this May we have had a few cold days, and soups have been simmering on the stove. In April, Berlin was warm, sunny and the sky turned blue. But then May hit and the weather turned back. The burst of summer was gone. The leaves were green, but it got cold, and we craved inner warmth. So soups filled the pots once again.
Soups : Tomato,Rice & Smoked Paprika and Cauliflower, Potato & Leek
For the Tomato, Rice & Smoked Paprika Soup, we used a really strong smoky one that we got in Spain. Smoked Paprika is different than Hot Paprika, so do not confuse the two. There are sweet and hot regular paprikas and there are sweet and hot smoked paprikas. If you use a hot one, then decide what your heat tolerance is and adjust the amount accordingly.
Tomato, Rice & Smoked Paprika Soup
16oz/450g chopped fresh tomatoes
8 fl oz/225ml canned tomato puree
8oz/225g cooked rice
16 fl oz/450 ml water
1 large onion, large dice
3 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP smoked paprika (sweet or hot)
salt and pepper
balsamic vinegar (use a really good one!)
fresh basil or spinach leaves for garnish
- Sauté onions in olive oil until translucent.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook until the break down.
- Add paprika and blend.
- Pour in canned tomato purée and water. Bring to a steady simmer.
- Add rice and heat through.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon into individual bowls and add a few drops of balsamic (do not stir it in, in addition to the flavor, it is a nice presentation).
- Garnish with greens, if desired.
The Cauliflower, Potato & Leek Soup is a variation on the classic theme of a Vichyssoise. We had leeks and potatoes, and it could have easily been a classic, but our fridge went on the fritz and froze the potatoes and a beautiful head of farmer’s market cauliflower. With a touch of frostbite, but still very useable, it all became a soup.
Cauliflower, Potato & Leek Soup
1 head cauliflower, roasted
4 vegetable bouillon cubes
6 medium new potatoes (white, red, Yukon)
24 fl oz/675 ml water
1 large leek, white and light green parts, sliced thinly
1 bunch chives
2 TBSP unsalted butter (or olive oil to make it vegan)
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Remove greens from cauliflower. Place on a foil lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast until it can be easily pierced with a fork (about 40-45 minutes depending on the size of the cauliflower).
- While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the soup base.
- Wash and slice the potatoes.
- Add water, bouillon cubes and sliced potatoes to a soup pot.
- In a separate sauce pan, sauté the leeks in butter. Cook until they start to caramelize. Remove from heat and cut chives into the pan. Stir into the leeks and set aside. They will soften, but not lose their color from the residual heat.
- When the cauliflower is soft, cut it into pieces and add it to the pot of soup.
- Using a hand blender, purée the soup.
- Add leek/chive blend to the soup and stir with a spoon.