cauliflower soup
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Venetian Cauliflower Soup

“In Venice we have big soups, simple soups,” Francesco says. “This is a good example.” But he adds that when it’s served at Remi, it is sometimes garnished with creme fraiche and caviar, for a lavish touch befitting the Venetian taste for luxury. At one time there were sturgeon in the Venetian lagoon, providing the city with its own supply of caviar. For a more humble Venetian garnish, some rounds of bread fried in butter or olive oil will do nicely.

Cauliflower soup

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 5 tbsp (45 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 leek, chopped (white part only)
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and coarsley chopped
  • 1 small head or 1/2 large head cauliflower, coarsley chopped
  • 1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and chopped
  • 8 cups (2 L) cold water
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 4 3-inch (7.5-cm) rounds Italian country bread


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and leek and saute slowly until they are tender but not brown.
  • Add the potato, cauliflower, anchovy, and water.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  • Allow the soup to cool briefly, then puree it in a blender or food processor. You will probably have to do this in batches.
  • Return the soup to the saucepan, bring it to a simmer, and season it with salt and white pepper.
  • Just before serving time, heat the remaining butter in a small skillet. Saute the bread slices on both sides until they are golden and serve them alongside the soup.
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