Welcome to the October edition of The Inspired Plate monthly challenges! Way back in January, I got together with a wonderful group of ladies for the purpose of improving our food photography and styling skills. The challenges have really inspired us to “take it to the next level” in many respects but also because they’re not always necessarily ones that include elements we’re comfortable with. This month for example calls for a styled shot utilizing a black background. Well, I almost never shoot “dark” – my photos tend to be on light backgrounds with bright colors even though I do like the moody, darker backgrounds with worn and rustic props and lots of natural textures. It just doesn’t seem like something that can be produced in my light, bright, Florida home. We’ve got sunshine and oranges and pink flamingos after all!
Oh! Did you know that The Inspired Plate has a new Facebook Page? We would love it if you would “like” us and add us to your interests list! The TIP ladies are also announcing new challenges each week that everyone can participate in. If you enjoy or want to try your hand at food photography, please join in! And, in other news, my Kitchen Serendipity food blog has been getting a face lift and will be up shortly. Please “like” Kitchen Serendipity on Facebook so you don’t miss all the new recipes coming up.
I decided to present a creamy fall soup for this challenge – it seemed like a good match for the dark background. Kind of shouts “fall” to me even though the leaves aren’t turning and it’s 85. My two favorites – leeks and cauliflower – are in this soup which has been adapted from a recipe in this month’s issue of Clean Eating.
Please continue along our blog circle to see what our participants came up with this week for Food Photography on a Black Background…..next up is Jennifer Grant | Metro Detroit Food Photographer. Her work is always outstanding.
Creamy Cauliflower, Leek, and Cheddar Soup
(adapted from Clean Eating October 2012)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups sliced leeks
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chopped cauliflower florets
- 1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
- kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- Heat oil and butter on medium heat in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add leeks with a small pinch of salt and pepper and sweat, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute, stirring frequently. Add the cauliflower, potato, broth, and season with additional pepper. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cover and simmer until the cauliflower and potato are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Using a large soup ladle, transfer batches of the soup to a blender and carefully purée the mixture until smooth and add to a clean saucepan. Place the saucepan on low heat and add ½ cup of the shredded cheese and stir until melted. Season again with a bit of salt and pepper and divide soup among four bowls. Garnish with remaining shredded cheese and scallions and serve.