cook like scott kuhn/washington place bistro: cauliflower bisque w/ maytag & balsamic

Since opening last fall, one of the most talked about items on Washington Place Bistro and Inn’s menu has been the cauliflower bisque. And now you can replicate this tasty dish at home, courtesy of owner Scott Kuhn. Kuhn says people are always surprised by this soup, likely due to cauliflower being underrated in general. He adds that its natural sweetness really comes out in this preparation, and that the Maytag lends a bit of earthiness while the balsamic adds both sweetness and acid.

Cauliflower Bisque with Maytag and Balsamic

Ingredients Unit Specifications
Olive Oil 1 TBL
Spanish Onion ½ Large Medium Dice
Celery ¼ Stalk Medium Dice
Leeks ¼ Cup Whites, Medium Dice
Russet Potato 1 Large Peeled. Medium Dice
White Cauliflower 1 large Head Florettes
Sachet:
Whole Black Peppercorn 4
Fresh Thyme 3 Sprigs
Bay Leaf 1
Parsley Stems ¼ Bunch
Chicken Stock 2 Cups
Heavy Cream 2Cups
Sea Salt TT
White Pepper TT

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Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees.   Lightly toss cauliflower with olive oil and lightly season with salt.  Roast in the oven just until you see the first signs of golden brown colorization.  Remove from the oven and reserve.  In a large pot, heat the olive oil and cook the onion, leeks, celery, and potato until translucent.  You do not want to caramelize as it will discolor your bisque.  Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, sachet, and roasted cauliflower to the pot.  Simmer for 25 minutes and remove from heat and remove the sachet.

Strain the solids from the liquids and place the solids in a Vita-Mix or blender with enough liquid to puree.  Do not add more liquid than is necessary and be careful to place a towel on top of the blender and apply pressure when blending hot mixtures.

Once everything has been pureed, place back into the pot adding enough of the liquids to reach desired consistency.  You want the bisque to coat the back of a spoon nicely.  Run the bisque through a very fine strainer making sure all solid bits are removed and a velvety texture has been achieved.

To serve, ladle the bisque into your bowl and mound a teaspoon of Maytag blue cheese in the center of the bowl.  A drizzle of balsamic syrup and a micro green will finish the dish!  This soup can be made ahead easily although be careful to bring the bisque up to temperature slowly as it burns very easily.

This post was sponsored by Heinen’s. When making this soup at home, Glenn, the beer guy at the University Heights store, says with these ingredients there are a few different directions you could go. He suggests a beer medium to light in body to go with a creamy bisque. Something with a slight touch of sweetness to compliment the balsamic and with enough flavor to hold up against the blue cheese. He personally likes Amber Ale and adds that one of his favorite Amber Ales is made by Bell’s Brewing Co. from Michigan. The flavors of this beer will pair nicely with this combination of ingredients – slightly sweet and a little earthy. Bell’s Amber Ale is sold in 6 packs, for $9.99 at most Heinen’s and that the University Heights location always carries it.

One Comment

  1. Diana
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    SO excited to get this recipe. WP’s cauliflower bisque IS amazing. Can’t wait to try this.

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