Smoothies... juices... dips... sauces... creamy soups! What's not to love? (Oh, and if it's fabulous for anything else, please do let me know in the comments... greatly appreciated.)
Let's just focus on the creamy soup aspect today. I'll be honest, my cauliflower soup recipe is going to be a rather vaguely instructive one, as I didn't really bother with any precise measurements. The good thing, though, is that it really doesn't need to be that detailed. It's easy. It's homely. It probably won't knock your socks off, but it's good and comforting and you may ask for a second helping. Or, at least, Simon did... after insisting he wasn't very hungry when I gave him his first bowl. As he went for more, I gave him a look, to which he reiterated and responded - "I'm not hungry, but it is so delicious..." Awwwww.
|a simple cauliflower soup.|
a simple cauliflower soup
(serves 4 as a starter or side... but we served it for 2 as a main on a not-so-hungry evening)
1 small to medium head of cauliflower, or 1/2 a head of a large one
butter, for frying - about 1 tablespoon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
water, or unsalted/low-salt vegetable stock - a few cups' worth, depending on size of cauliflower
salt, to taste
cream, to taste - I used about 2 tablespoons
balsamic vinegar and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Cut or pluck the cauliflower florets (I often trim the stem, chop it up and use it too) and set aside.
Over medium heat, warm up some butter in an appropriately sized saucepan, along with the garlic and onion. When the garlic and onion has softened, add the cauliflower, then pour in just enough water or vegetable stock to cover the florets. Turn up the heat to bring to boil, then turn to medium again, partially cover the saucepan and let it cook until the cauliflower is tender - times may vary, but for me it was about 15 minutes.
Puree the soup. (With a stick blender if you have one - yay! Otherwise, transfer to a blender and blend it in portions, then return to the saucepan.)
You can lower the heat at this point so the soup just gently simmers. Add water if you'd like to thin it out, or cook it longer if you'd like it thicker.
Stir in some cream and continue stirring until it becomes one with the soup. Add salt to taste. (Having cooked the cauliflower in water instead of stock, I used a spiced and herbed vegetable salt here to give extra flavour, but this is optional.) Turn off the heat.
Ladle the soup into bowls, then splash with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper - be as generous as you like. Then slurp it all up with a spoon.
|lashings of balsamic vinegar and freshly cracked black pepper to add flavour and interest.|