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Transform a popular autumn veggie into an elegant first course for Thanksgiving

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 quarts (2 L) good-quality canned chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream

Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

With a sharp knife, cut the heads of cauliflower into thin slices. Set aside.

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Put the butter and olive oil in a medium stockpot over low heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stir to combine with the onion and garlic. Lightly season with salt, and cover the pot.

Continue cooking covered, stirring often, until the cauliflower is completely tender, almost mushy, about 1 hour. Stir in the tomato, cumin, sugar, white pepper to taste, bay leaf, thyme and stock. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Stir in the cream. When the soup returns to a boil, remove the pot from the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Puree the soup directly in the pot using an immersion blender. Or, working in batches and carefully following the manufacturer's instructions to guard against spattering the hot liquid, puree the soup by pulsing the machine on and off; transfer each batch to a large heatproof bowl. While the soup is still hot, taste it and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Before serving, reheat the soup over low heat. Ladle it into warmed bowls. Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle some chives over each serving. Serve immediately.



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