Thursday, May 27, 2010
Okay, Lou. This is a soup which my flat and I have made a few times now. It's based on a Nigel Slater recipe from Tender (surprise!)and is the perfect accompaniment for rainy nights spent watching the Wesley Snipes episodes of 30 Rock. I don't know if this qualifies as being "healthy" but it is totally vegetarian and requires the most mundane of ingredients (although I don't consider cauliflower and cabbage to be mundane at all).
So you get a head of cauliflower, chop it into wee florets and pop it in a pot with about 750mls of boiling water. Salt the water a bit, too. You want the cauliflower to get nice and soft (soft enough for a stick blender to decimate it). You could also add some slices of cabbage, which I enjoy because I think cabbage looks pretty while being boiled, kind of like the ghost of vegetables past.
While the veges are boiling away, chop up whatever onion-y things you feel like adding. As we are slaves to our vege-box, I tend to use whatever is in there, whether it be leeks, shallots, onions or garlic. I trust that you will trust your own tastes enough to figure out quantities. Pop them in a heavy bottomed, deep pot which has some butter and olive oil fizzing gently inside. Cook them til they are nice and translucent. Add a bay leaf or two at some point.
Once the cauliflower and onions are cooked to your liking, pour the cauliflower and its water into the onion mix. Bring to the boil, then cover, and simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves, and get a stick blender out (or a masher...friends left their stick blender at our house after a dinner party so I can now attest to the blender working better)and gently puree the soup until it is a texture that appeals to you. I like to leave it a little chunky.
Now you get to pour in some cream and some grated cheese. I use Parmesan because it works well with the nutty flavours of the cauliflower. Nigel Slater would suggest a "hardy British cheddar". You could also add a spoonful of french mustard. Season it with salt and pepper, perhaps some nutmeg if you're so inclined, and some fresh herbs.
Serve the soup with some toasted crusty bread which has been lovingly slathered in butter.
PS. The picture is from The Department Store's blog.Its called a "skyplanter" and I want one.