Sometimes simplicity is in order.
A bowl of broth, a hint of heat, and spoonfuls of tiny pasta and cauliflower.
Perhaps it sounds unremarkable, but one of my favorite spots serves a version of this soup that I continually crave. I find it warm and familiar like my favorite quilt. The broth is nourishing and satiating, but the flecks of red pepper keep it from being a bore. And if you don't mind pasta that has become a bit more than al dente, this soup is even better re-heated the next day.
Sicilian Cauliflower Soup
6 1/2 Cups homemade clear chicken broth*
1 large head cauliflower, cut into very small florets
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Cup uncooked ditalini pasta
1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your tastes)
salt and pepper
Bring stock to a simmer in a large stockpot. Add cauliflower, garlic and red pepper flakes. Continue to simmer with the lid on, until cauliflower is tender.
While cauliflower cooks, boil the pasta: fill a separate large pot with fresh water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain pasta and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper.
*Quality of the ingredients is essential in this recipe as there are very few. The success of the soup will depend on the quality of the broth.