The very first cauliflower soup I ever made was Crème de la Grande Tante from Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking. A beautiful concoction which includes egg yolks and is far too rich for a basic lunch. This is a simpler version, although you can create a creamier soup by adding milk, cream or cheese. For a luxury touch add a swirl of hazelnut oil and a sprinkling of roasted chopped hazelnuts before serving.
- medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 25g butter
- 100 -150g smoked bacon cut into short strips
- 2 medium cauliflowers cut into florets (fresh or frozen)
- 1000ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- Melt the butter, add the onions and cook until translucent (10-15 minutes)
- Add the bacon and the garlic and cook until the bacon fat is golden and the onions are soft
- Add the cauliflower, stock and bay leaves and bring to the boil
- Cover the pan and simmer until the cauliflower is soft
- Remove the bay leaves, check the seasoning
- Put the soup in a liquidiser and blend until smooth
- Return to the pan, check the seasoning, gently reheat and serve
You can add milk to make a creamier version (about 100ml) and you may need to add more stock or water if the soup is too thick. You can omit the bacon and reduce the stock to 850ml and after puréeing the cauliflower add 100g Gruyere cheese, 150ml crème fraîche and a teaspoon of grain mustard and reheat gently.