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From the October 2006 edition of Bon Appetit Magazine, this submission is from Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill. Now that imported caviar is no longer available, the domestic stuff is all the rage. Paired with lemon oil (sold at many markets), it's the ultimate garnish. Omit scallops and caviar to make this dish vegetarian.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 cup white onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 3 3⁄4 cups cauliflower (from 1 large head)
- 1 1⁄2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1⁄2 cups whipping cream
- kosher salt
- fresh ground white pepper
- 1 leek, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (white and pale green parts only)
- 6 sea scallops, patted dry
- 1 (30 g) jar black caviar, like American white sturgeon (about 1 ounce)
- 6 teaspoons lemon-infused olive oil
- fresh chives, finely chopped
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add cauliflower, broth, and cream. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer gently until cauliflower is tender, about 18 minutes.
- Puree soup in small batches in blender until smooth. Return to same saucepan. Season soup with kosher salt and white pepper.
- Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
- Blanch leek in small saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute; drain. Place some of leek in center of each bowl.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Sear until brown and just opaque in center, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
- Place 1 scallop on leek in each bowl; top scallop with caviar. Ladle soup around scallop, drizzle with 1 teaspoon lemon oil, and sprinkle with chives.