Prepare Hazelnut Butter Balls, refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter; saute onion, carrot and celery briefly; add cauliflower, and vegetable or chicken stock. Simmer approximately 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a food processor or blender, puree the cooked vegetables with approximately 1/2 chicken broth until smooth. Pour the puree back into the remaining stock; add cream or milk.
In a large pan, heat soup over low to medium-low heat until warm.
Serve in heated individual soup bowls garnished with Hazelnut Butter Balls (drop a chilled butter ball into each bowl of soup just prior to serving).
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Hazelnut Buter Balls Recipe:
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon coarsely-chopped roasted hazelnuts*
* To toast hazelnuts, spread shelled nuts in a shallow baking pan and roast in a preheated oven at 275 degrees F. for 20 to 30 minutes or until the skin cracks and the meat turns light golden. To remove the skins, place hot nuts in the center of a rough kitchen terry towel. Pull the towel up around the nuts and twist tightly. Let stand to steam for about five minutes, then vigorously rub the warm nuts in the towel until most of the skins are removed. Do not be concerned if some of the skins tenaciously cling to the nut.
In a small bowl, blend butter and hazelnuts. Using your hands, shape into small balls and refrigerate until ready to use.