Makes 4 servings
1 head cauliflower
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, white part only, washed and cut into half-moons
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart, plus 1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Milk, if needed
1 large egg yolk
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh nutmeg to taste
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
4 tablespoons butter
1. Wash and core the cauliflower. Reserve about 12 tiny florets, and blanch in salted water. Roughly chop the remaining cauliflower and set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until soft, about 3 minutes, but not taking on any color.
3. Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and stir to combine. Gradually whisk in the stock. Bring to a simmer. Add the chopped cauliflower and return to a slow simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to keep the bottom from sticking or burning until the cauliflower is fork-tender.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup in a blender until silky smooth (this may be done in a few batches). Once processed, strain into a clean pot.
5. Place the pot over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and bring to a simmer. If the consistency is too thick, add milk.
6. In a small bowl, combine the remaining cream and the egg yolk. Whisk a bit of the hot soup into the cream mixture to temper before whisking it into the soup. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Add in a few sprinkles of nutmeg.
7. In a small skillet or pot, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Keep the butter on heat until it turns a nutty brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
8. Mix the tiny cauliflower florets and the toasted walnuts in a small bowl. Portion the soup into four shallow bowls and top with the garnish. Drizzle with the brown butter, then chopped parsley.