Cauliflower-Leek Soup with Pancetta & Balsamic Caramel
In a large stockpot, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, leeks and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 min. Add 8 cups (2 L) cauliflower, potato, chicken broth, salt and pepper and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 min. Let cool slightly. Fill a blender 2/3 full and purée soup in batches until smooth. Return to stockpot and stir in cream.
In a microwavable bowl, add 2 tbsp (30 mL) of water and remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) cauliflower. Cook on MEDIUM to soften, 1 to 2 min. Strain and set aside. In a small skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté until edges are crispy. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate. Add sugar and vinegar to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and vinegar starts to boil and thicken, about 3 min. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together reserved pancetta and cauliflower with chives. Set aside.
Divide soup among 8 serving bowls. Garnish each bowl with equal parts pancetta mixture and then drizzle with balsamic caramel to serve.