Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thoughts on Southern Dialect and Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Curry and Goat Cheese

One thing that becomes evident when you move from one area of the world (like, say NJ) to another (Alabama comes to mind) is that people speak differently.
And I'm not simply referring to accents.

I'm talking about local or regional idioms.
(side note: my kids LOVE that word idiom. Unstoppable, Gut clutching guffaws)
So I thought I would share some vernacular I have picked up as a Northerner living in the South.

I'll begin with y'all;  perhaps the most obvious and ubiquitous of them all.
Although you will hear this up North, it will only be spoken by transplanted Southerners.
I kid, but we Northerners shy away from that phrase, preferring you guys or everyone or simply you.

There's a sweetness about the word y'all.
It's familiar, like a well worn sweater wrapping itself around you.
It makes you feel good when you hear it.

The meaning? Well, it's obvious. Short for you all, it means everyone.
As in, "Y'all see that tornado pass through last night?"
or, "I'll bring the wine, y'all"

It was the first Southern term my children picked up rather quickly.
My oldest, J, picked it up first and uses it effortlessly.
I, on the other hand, feel like an impostor when it slips out of my mouth.
Even though it will be the perfect phrase. Short, all encompassing.
Other terms like you guys or you ladies seem vague or don't quite hit it.

With Y'all being the comfort food of idioms (snicker snicker) I thought it would be fitting to share this soup I recently made.
Afterall, what is more comforting than soup?
(well, besides mashed potatoes and grilled cheese...)
This is a creamy soup unlike ones that I make more frequently like vegetable soup or squash soup or minestrone .
Honestly, I tend to make chunky soups because I'm lazy inspired by the natural beauty of foods in their original state.
Also, I hate doing the dishes.

But like the word y'all, a creamy soup feels good on the tongue.
It's both smooth and sexy.
And believe you me, these Southern women can make y'all sound smooth and sexy!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Curry and goat cheese

2 heads of cauliflower (cut into medium sized pieces)
garlic (a few bulbs left in their skin)
1 onion (cut into thick wedges)
chicken stock- 1 carton
cream (or half and half)-1/4 cup
goat cheese
salt & pepper

Toss the cauliflower, onion and garlic bulbs with some olive oil and salt then roast in a 400degree oven until it's browned and the smell is beckoning you like a Siren. Place in a blender (remembering to squeeze the garlic out of its casing first) and add enough chicken stock to cover. Blend on turbo speed until smooth. Add more water/ or stock if you feel it's too thick. Personally, I like it thick enough to scoop up on a piece of crusty bread.
Here is where I transfer it to a pot and keep it on a low flame so it stays warm. Add cream and curry (1 tbsp-ish).
When serving, sprinkle goat cheese on top and a little more curry. Salt and pepper to taste.
This is also fabulous with goat cheese spread on top of a toasted piece of french bread.


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