Sunday, May 13, 2012

Warning, I shall eat purple soup

Is it inspiration or merely a form of rebellion? Is that creative spark in your eye due to your penchant for looking forward instead of gazing in life's rear view mirror, to blaze ahead despite the risk of a brilliant disaster. Perhaps like a habit, it takes practice to break the bonds of the expected.

Purple. There was a time when ladies would not wear it. Thank goodness that time has past. Warning, a poem written by Jenny Joseph in 1961 predicted a time when you are finally old you can give yourself permission to be a bit eccentric, alight your inner child, wear purple, drink brandy and spit. The poem itself set off a following of red-hatted, purple wearing women's groups of a certain age. Why wait to walk the unbeaten path and change things up a bit. Not talking something seriously dangerous, just a bit different, wilder than your usual normal that is so expected. The spirit of the final stanza speaks, and awakens your inner rebel. Let 'er fly!

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

resplendent in fruits and deep aubergine eggplant, 
now fashionably trending in potato fingerlings and cauliflower in shades of amethyst.
Purple Cauliflower and Potatoes
The perfume of delicate spring blossoms in our garden -- chives, sage and lavender.

Sage, Lavender & Chive Nosegay
Purple Cauliflower Soup, creamy without the addition of butter, milk, or cream, lightly perfumed with the scent of lavender and sage, a hint of cardamon and the warmth of tasmanian peppercorns. A swirl of Crème Fraiche and sprinkle of freshly chopped chives. An overture to spring and homage to purple, an unexpected beginning to a elegant meal.

Purple Cauliflower Soup with Lavender

Purple Cauliflower Soup with Lavender
Makes 4 Cups
Serves 8 as an Appetizer   
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour

1 head purple cauliflower cut up in chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 white sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 purple potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground tasmanian peppercorns
½ teaspoon ground sage
⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon dried lavender
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoon lemon zest
4 ounces Crème Fraiche            
4 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

Roast 3-4 green cardamom pods and 6 tasmanian peppercorns until fragrant, cool then grind in spice grinder or mortar and pestle. You can substitute regular ground spices if you don’t have whole spices to roast and grind.

  1. In 4 quart pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes and chopped cauliflower to pot, stir to combine and continue cooking a few minutes and sprinkle with sea salt.
  3. Pour in chicken stock, add cardamom and ground pepper, bring liquid to a low boil, lower heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  4. Remove from heat and cool for 10-15 minutes, and pour into food processor in small batches and process until very smooth and creamy.
  5. Add back into pot, sprinkle ground sage, white pepper and lavender into soup, cook over medium heat 15 minutes, then add lemon juice and zest. Notice how the lemon brightens the color of the soup!
  6. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Pour soup through fine sieve before serving in individual small bowls. Can be saved in the refrigerator for reheating and serving later at this point.
  7. Top each bowl with Crème Fraiche and chopped chives.

Before I am old, I will eat purple soup.


  1. Most of the people I know who really loves purple, as a color or variant is a fanatic. Normally, they tend to let the world see how they love this color. It is not a favorite of mine, but I find purple really striking. A color of royalty, even with food. Looks unique! Love the post...

    1. I know what you mean, purple folks are passionate! Thank you for the comment and compliment, sincerely.


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