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I remember the first time I tasted cauliflower. It was in grade three at school and as I was walking down the hallway by myself, a few older girls were coming out of their Home Economics cooking class. They asked me if I wanted to try some cauliflower? I held out my hand and they gave me a single cauliflower floret. I studied this pale, brain-like vegetable doubtfully. Then I tasted it. Crunchy and raw, it reminded me of mild cabbage. I liked it! Even better is this delicious buttery cauliflower soup topped with a slice of pan-seared mushroom. A tasty nourishing soup for these winter months!

Cauliflower Soup with Pan-Seared Mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter

3 medium onions, chopped

2 heads cauliflower, separated into florets and coarsely chopped

4 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth (or water)

¼ cup heavy cream (optional)

salt and pepper

2 Matsutake or portabella mushrooms, stemmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat until onions are soft and translucent but not browned, about 15 minutes.

Add cauliflower and broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat until cauliflower is very sift, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

In small batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the pot and stir in cream (if desired). Season with salt and pepper. If necessary, add a few tablespoons to water or broth to thin the soup.

Heat a large skillet. Brush the mushrooms with the oil, season with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet. Sear over moderately high heat, turning once, until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and thinly slice the mushrooms.

Ladle soup into warm bowls. Garnish with the sliced mushrooms and serve. Enjoy!