In some circles, Jennifer Esposito isn’t known for her roles in movies such as “Crash,” but her East Village bakery, Jennifer’s Way. And chances are you know of her bakery because you — or someone you know — is gluten-free.
The actress documented her experience with celiac disease in her 2015 book, “Jennifer’s Way.” Now she’s back with a cookbook, “Jennifer’s Way Kitchen” ($30, out now), which shares more than 100 anti-inflammatory recipes free of refined sugar, grains, gluten, corn and allergens such as dairy, egg and soy.
One recipe is for a dairy-free soup made with one of Esposito’s favorite veggies — cauliflower, which she calls “magic.”
“You can make this flowery friend into so many different amazing meals: Pizza crust, mashed ‘potatoes,’ knishes and here, a buttery, creamy soup,” she writes. “Loaded with vitamin C, fiber and so many other wonderful vitamins and minerals, cauliflower can give you the impression that you are eating comforting, filling, starchy food when you’re actually being practically puritanical.”
This recipe “tastes like it contains your old friends cream and butter,” but it’s 100 percent dairy-free, she notes, thanks to that cauliflower magic.
“It’s so rich, you will think you’re being sinful, so enjoy the splurge that isn’t actually a splurge!”
‘Buttery,’ creamy cauliflower soup
3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for serving 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large head cauliflower, leaves and stem removed, cut into large chunks
2 tsp. Himalayan salt
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf (dried or fresh)
4 1⁄2 cups filtered water
In a large stockpot, heat 1 tbsp. of the olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers and easily coats the pot. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about eight minutes. Add the cauliflower, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Stir to coat everything with the oil and seasonings, then add the water. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender enough that you can easily put a fork through it, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Pour everything into a high-speed blender, including the cooking water. Start to blend on slow speed, and gradually increase the speed while adding the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil, drizzled in a steady stream through the top of the blender. (You could use the immersion blender instead, blending it in the cooking pot.)
When everything is pureed, pour the soup into four bowls and drizzle with additional olive oil. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold. The soup keeps well for up to one month in the freezer — just in case you don’t finish every drop.
Excerpted from the book “Jennifer’s Way Kitchen” by Jennifer Esposito with Eve Adamson. Copyright © 2017 by Bern Productions Inc. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.