by Chef Paul Short, Madison Area Technical College Culinary Arts Chef Instructor
From our 2019 Open House
YIELD: 1 Quart
1000 grams heavy cream
1 head of cauliflower cut into medium florets
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons very fine chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon roasted yeast (see separate recipe)
2 cups leeks, washed, thin sliced whites only
½ pound of butter cut into small chunks
2 cups small diced honey crisp apple
3 cups Wollersheim Prairie Fumé
3 cups Wollersheim Press House Brandy
4 tablespoon leek onion ash (see method)
50 grams of onion skins and or leek greens burned, dried and ground
120 grams of caramelized onions dried and ground
65 grams of mushroom seasoning (see suggested sources)
This technique is courtesy of James Beard Nominee for best chef Midwest Justin Carlisle from Ardent in Milwaukee. Justin is also a graduate of the Madison College Culinary Arts Program.
1. Take one pound of fresh yeast and crumble it up on to a ¼ inch sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Roast the yeast at 400 degrees until golden brown. Note you will notice the yeast is soft when it initially reaches the golden brown color but within a few minutes it will be almost completely dry. When it reaches this stage you can dehydrate the yeast overnight. Once the yeast is completely dry, grind it in a spice grinder.
Leek Onion Ash
This is another technique shared with us by James Beard Nominee for best chef Midwest Justin Carlisle.
1. Slice 120 grams of onions and caramelize in a small amount of grapeseed oil. You want a deep caramel color when cooking the onions down, you can add a small amount of water and let the water evaporate as it cooks down, the onions will take on a deeper caramel color as the water evaporates and reduce the risk of burning the onions. Once you have achieved the desired caramel color and flavor place the onions in a dehydrator and let them dehydrate for approximately 2 days. Take all of the leek greens used to prepare the soup, and the onion peels for the caramelized onions and burn them! You can place them in a 400 degree oven and cook them until they are black. Once they are black, place them in the dehydrator and dry them thoroughly. Take the blackened onion and grind to a powder. Combine the ash with the caramelized onion powder and the mushroom seasoning.
1. Place the cauliflower on to a sheet tray and roast it until it reaches a nice golden color. Combine in a sauce pot the cooked cauliflower, heavy cream, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, ginger and the roasted yeast. Heat together on low simmer for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and take out the bay leaf; pour into a large blender or use a stick blender and puree the mixture until very smooth. Note if you are using a blender, keep a clean towel on top of the blender with the lid on; the soup will be very hot and you want to start blending on very low and gradually work your way up to a higher speed.
2. Using a whip cream dispenser pour the hot cauliflower puree into the dispenser and charge it approximately 3 times with nitrous oxide. Keep the mixture warm in a water bath until ready to serve. The number of chargers will depend on the size of the canister.
3. Take the 2 cups of leeks and gently poach them in the Prairie Fume until they are tender. When the leeks are tender strain them and stir in half of the cut butter, reserving the other half for the apples.
4. Place the apples in a sauté pan with the remaining butter and sauté the apples quickly, add the Press House brandy and flame off the alcohol and reduce to au sec (almost dry).
1. Place some of the poached leeks in a soup bowl and squeeze some of the aerated cauliflower over the leeks. Garnish with the apples and the onion ash and serve.