ASPARAGUS, CAULIFLOWER & BLUE CHEESE SOUP

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A new beginning.

I probably will regret after writing this post, but since I am not in the mood for any serious restaurant reviews, thought letting some steam off the chest perhaps is the best antidote I can offer myself. This weekend has marked another new chapter in my life and it does take a lot of courage for a big boy like me to open up and show the emotional side of things on interweb! “Life”, boy, I hate to use that word, I swear I am not old enough to talk about my life. But at least let me be a little emo for once as last weekend had been an emotional one for me, but it is for the best.

Things are happening fast around me lately, work has been hectic while I am aiming to get all done by mid November so I can relax and ready for the holiday season. Then there is the blog, it does take a big chunk of my sleep away until I consider myself lucky if I get more than 5 hours sleep each morning (not night, because usually by the time I climb into bed will be already way past midnight).

But most important of all, my personal life (I still hate to use that word). Like everybody else, it has ups and downs and last Friday definitely hit a hard wall for me. It made me stop and think, and reevaluate myself and what is most important for me. I might had a minor breakdown, tears were shed, emo I had been and only myself to blame. Perhaps I was just exhausted from work and not enough sleeps, and I do question myself sometimes whether I actually suffer from depression without knowing it. I hope not. But not to worry, I am all good now, things are looking brighter, I stayed away from internet as much as possible and spent most of the time cooking in the kitchen and loving it.

I whipped up this soup that I learned from the Molecular Gastronomy workshop at Chef’s Armoury last Thursday but with my own twist. I also picked up a siphon canister at the workshop, something I wanted in the kitchen for a long long time. So be warn, there may be a lot of “foam” recipes coming soon! :D

This cauliflower soup is a very simple starter to make. Asparagus is in season at the moment and I picked up some from the market for only $0.99 a bunch. Cauliflower, possibly the only vegetable that I hate the most, the only way I will eat them is either puree it, or cheese bake it. I rather fond of cauliflower soup, the sweetness is nicely balanced with a layer of blue cheese and dashi stock foam on top, using my favourite siphon canister, of course. A smidgen of grated grapefruit zest will give it a citrusy zing to cut through the richness.

I really like the simple presentation of this dish as well when they plated up at the workshop. It is like a new shoot sprouting out for the new season, a new beginning, couldn’t be more appropriate.

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Asparagus, Cauliflower & blue cheese soup (serves 4)
Original recipe by A Table For Two

Ingredients
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 cup heavy cream (for soup)
1 wedge of blue cheese (about 20 gr)
1 cup heavy cream (for foam)
1/2 cup dashi stock
1 tsp grapefruit zest (grated)
salt and pepper to taste
Kitchen Tool - siphon canister

Method
1. Cut the asparagus to equal length, around 10cm, then shave the end bit to a pencil-like pointy tip. Blanch the asparagus in hot boiling water for 1 minute or so, then quickly transfer to ice water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and set aside.

2. To make dashi stock, add a handful of bonito flake into 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil. Strain well and discard the bonito flake, the dashi stock is ready.

3. Add dashi stock, blue cheese, heavy cream to a saucepan and heat up on medium heat. Keep stirring to make sure all the cheese is melted and DO NOT BOIL. Once is ready, strain the mixture into a bowl, discard the blue hard bits on the strainger. Pour the cheese soup into siphon. Keep the siphon in a bowl of hot water to keep it warm until ready to use.

4. Boil cauliflower in hot water until soften. Once ready, add cauliflower, heavy cream, salt and pepper into food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. If you want your soup not as thick, add a cup of warm milk to make the soup lighter.

5. Use a glass or a small bowl, pour cauliflower soup first, then inject blue cheese and dashi foam on top. Garnish with grated grapefruit zest, and place a stem of asparagus in each glass. Serve immediately.