Creamless Cream of Cauliflower Soup

I love the addition of pear to this soup as it adds some sweetness. The clementine peel and rosemary add a unique and unexpected fragrance. If you don't have rosemary, thyme would go nicely with the orange flavor too. The Roasted Pepper Puree and pumpkin seeds on top make an otherwise white soup pop with color and crunch.

1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
the peel from 1 clementine
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 ripe pear (Anjou or similarly sweet pear), peeled, cored, and chopped

Roasted Pepper Puree
1/2 cup or 3 whole roasted red bell peppers
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Roasted pumpkin seeds

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute until onions are softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add broth, clementine peel, rosemary and cauliflower.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook on low, covered, for 20 minutes until cauliflower is soft. 

Remove from heat and add pear.  Puree in batches in a blender until smooth.  Return to soup pot and keep warm until ready to serve.

To prepare Roasted Pepper Puree, place roasted peppers and olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Put a spoonful of Roasted Pepper Puree on top and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Serves 6-8.