Perfect Winter Lunch

Every December, when we’re in California, we go to our friends’ house for lunch. And every year they make the same meal: Cauliflower soup, a green salad, gruyere and crusty French bread. They put avocados in the salad, since they live in LA and have an avocado tree in their backyard, but a plain green salad would be just as delicious. Can’t wait to have it again this year!

(Photos by Rene, Esquire and Chef’s Kitchen)

  1. Yuuumm! This looks so good!

  2. Ah, what a perfect meal. I’m adding this to my winter menu for sure. We are definitely spoiled with avocados in LA!

  3. I love this! If you have any good recipes for cauliflower soup that you could share that would be amazing!

    But seriously delicious looking stuff and I love the whole “avocado tree” bit.

  4. I made this for dinner last night and it was amazing! Luckily we have lots of leftovers for tonight :)

  5. Anonymous says...

    i just made the soup following the recipe from rene – DELICIOUS!

  6. I used to work at a tea salon that served light meals. One day we were told to upsell Cauliflower soup- my first thought was “how the heck are we supposed to do that?!” Well they -made- us try it and it was delicious! It had small pieces of bacon in it too though so maybe they cheated a bit. (:

  7. I am so stealing this menu idea for our next lunch party! Some crusty bread sounds good right about now!

  8. Oh, delicious! I love gruyere cheese. And how I miss avocados already…must make this soup soon! Thanks for sharing.

  9. My husband owns Gjelina….would love to see you guys stop in for lunch again!

  10. YUM, that sounds divine! When I lived in SoCal and we bought 4 avocados every week at the farmers’ market (year round!) I used to LOVE making a salad of butter lettuce, persimmon slices, and pecans with a simple honey mustard dressing – try it, it’ll totally transport you to Cali!

  11. YUM indeed!

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  13. Looks so yummy! Sounds like a lot of fun, too!

  14. Sounds so delicious. There is something so lovely about knowing your friends will make the same meal for you. What a great treat to share with friends.

  15. Anonymous says...

    this looks amazing. We have a couple coming to dinner on Thursday and are still trying to figure out the menu. We are leaning towards chicken cacciatore. Yikes, hope we come up with something!

  16. this is amazing! I am in love with the simplicity of the meal and also the writer’s (of the cauliflower soup recipe) humor and generous approach to rich ingredients.

  17. Claire says...

    Ah! I live in LA and literally just ate this exact meal. Bizarre to see my lunch popping up on a cup of Jo.

    Ps. FYI for all of you east coasters: 2011 has been a particularly bad year for avocados, so don’t be too jealous ;)

  18. LV says...

    Now that is my idea of a perfect lunch. This looks soooo good! I have never had cauliflower soup, but it sure sounds amazing. I am spoiled by having access to fresh avocados anytime I want them and I am fortunate to live in California and have a friend with an avocado tree:-)

  19. Talk about the most perfect lunch! I’d fly from NY to California just for that. Love your holiday traditions, Joanna!

  20. I WANT TO EAT THIS NOW. It also seems like the perfect anytime lunch or anytime dinner or really the anytime food.

  21. Anonymous says...

    YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, yes please!! now! get in my belly!

  22. oh man, what i would give to have an avocado tree! i’d be well-fed, and pretty popular, too, i imagine. this post is definitely making my stomach growl. :)

  23. ohmygosh!! i would LOVE to have an avocado tree!! one of my favorite foods…sounds amazing.

  24. I try so hard to like avocados as they are insanely good for you. Just can’t do it…

  25. This is what I want for lunch right now.

  26. new dream in life: have an avocado tree in my backyard. I can’t even imagine!!

    Also, this sounds so. good.

  27. That cauliflower soup looks amazing! Thanks for linking an recipe!

  28. absurd. I want that in my belly right now

  29. Oh, perfect combination. Looks delicious.

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  31. v says...

    thanks for the tip! my 3 year old loves cauliflower …looks yummy. Have a good day

  32. sharon, LOL, so funny. i had half of the mashed potatoes that our babysitter made for toby!

  33. fallon, i know, seriously! last year, they PICKED the avocados for our salad!!

  34. I live in LA and love it! But unfortunately, no avocado trees for me, as I’m in an apartment… :)

  35. Seriously? An avocado tree?! I would use it for everything.

  36. yeah. that does look good. i just had two tablespoons of pillsbury vanilla icing for lunch!

  37. I’m insanely jealous of the avocado tree in their backyard.

    But I’m glad they know that greyure is the way to go!

  38. I would gobble that up in a second!

  39. Funny you mention avocados because I have a whole bunch of ’em picked off my parents’ trees from when I was home for Thanksgiving weekend. :) (Yes, I live in California.) And this meal looks delicious after the heartiness of the weekend eating.

  40. Mm this looks delicious! I love soup x

  41. Mmmm! I just had to ‘pin’ this for future winter lunches in Maine. And an avocado tree?! Heaven!

  42. Wow! LA is pretty amazing like that – I have a lemon tree and an orange tree in my back yard. But I’d kill for an avocado tree! How fabulous. Cauliflower soup sounds divine… must pick up ingredients to make this at the farmer’s market next weekend :)

    x fallon

  43. I am inclined to agree that this would be utterly perfect. This post tickled me because two of favorite foods of both my husband and myself are cauliflower soup and avocados.

  44. looks and sounds dreamy. perfect for an az winter day!

  45. I’m willing to bet my winter lunch would come in a close second to this. My lunch: roasted tomato & paprika soup (from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks) with a grilled cheese sandwich. Yum.
    I might have to try this cauliflower soup next week!

  46. Your friends are quite lovely to you then! Sounds like the perfect winter lunch.

  47. Oh I love cauliflower!! had cauliflower mashed potatoes last night!!!! This looks delicious and pretty light!! Yum!! I’ve got a simple recipe for baked cinnamon apple chips!!! Perfect for entertaining!

  48. thank you for sharing!!

  49. SO goood…and it’s almost lunchtime for me!

  50. it is the best combination of flavors–fresh, buttery, warm, chewy, crusty–SO good!

  51. YUM! my favorite thing to do with cauliflower is to sprinkle it with olive oil and breadcrumbs then roast it- tastes like popcorn! maybe I’ll have to branch out and try this though!

  52. You had me at “crusty French bread.” Heavenly.

  53. I’ve actually never had cauliflower soup before (how is that possible?), but anything with french bread and gruyere cheese has to be good.

  54. This looks DELICIOUS!

  55. OMG it really it. This sounds heavenly!