Cauliflower soup

The potatoes and cauliflower give this soup a silky texture.

▶ 2 tbsp olive oil
▶ 2 onions, finely chopped
▶ salt and freshly ground black pepper
▶ 3 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
▶ 4 celery sticks, finely chopped
▶ 2 bay leaves
▶ 675 g (11⁄2 lb) potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
▶ 1.4 litres (21⁄2 pints) hot vegetable stock
▶ 2 cauliflowers, trimmed and cut into florets
▶ drizzle of double cream, to serve (optional)


1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions, and cook over a low heat for 6–8 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Season well with salt and pepper, then add the garlic, celery, and bay leaves, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the celery begins to soften. Stir in the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, then pour in the stock, bring to the boil, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are nearly soft.

2. Add the cauliflower and cook for 10 minutes, or until it is soft but not watery. Remove the bay leaves and discard, then transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add a little more hot stock if it seems too thick. Taste, and season with salt and pepper if needed. Drizzle with double cream (if using), and serve.

GOOD WITH Warm crusty rolls and a sprinkling of ground cumin in each bowl to add a warming, spicy flavour.
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