not a thing of beauty, but a taste sensation! aromatic cauliflower soup

aromatic cauliflower soup
Trying to be frugal this year, a tired looking cauliflower was transformed into a gloriously smooth and aromatic soup. Yes, it is a rather dreary colour, but I promise you that has a beautifully gentle and soothing effect.

I was looking for a bit of inspiration and this is adaptation of a Shaun Hill recipe (formerly of Merchant House and now of The Walnut Tree) - a man of such exquisite taste that I knew I wouldn't be able to resist it. I hope you won't either.

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy

2 tbsp olive oil
1 x English onion, chopped
2 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 x medium cauliflower, cut into florets (include the "heart" but dispose of the leaves)
1 x bay leaf
1 tsp saffron threads
1½ litres vegetable stock
50ml milk or 2 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
a couple of shakes of Tabasco
a splash of Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley (or coriander) chopped, to serve

  1. Gently fry the onions for 5 minutes until begin to soften.
  2. Add the garlic and stir. Fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the spices (except the saffron). Stir again and continue to gently fry for another 2 minutes. Don't let the onions brown.
  4. Add the cauliflower. Stir again and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the stock, bay leaf and saffron threads. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Set aside and leave to cool before blending. (Do not try to blend when hot, as this can be dangerous, particularly if using a jug blender. A combination of hot soup, a build-up of steam and vibration, can cause the hot liquid to explode out of the blender. Safer to let it cool a little!)
  7. Before blending remove the bay leaf.
  8. After blending, you may decide to pass the soup through a sieve for extra smoothness.
  9. Return the soup to a clean saucepan and bring back to a simmer.
  10. Add the milk or crème fraîche and warm through.
  11. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and Tabasco. Stir and season to taste.
  12. Sprinkle over a little chopped parsley or coriander and serve.


Patricia (La Chatte Gitane) said...

I think I wouldn't be able to resist that wonderful soup. For me cauliflower, cumin and coriander work a treat, all the other ingredients will be a bonus !
Yummy !

Unknown said...

Ooh yummy. I love cauliflower soup as it goes so thick and this one looks and sounds good. I use cauliflower as a potato substitute in my leek and potato soup and it works a dream. Good as a mash or purée too!

Elaine said...

The colour may be dull but with all those wonderful ingredients I'm sure it will be delicious. I'll let you know later in the week when I have tried it.

Patricia (La Chatte Gitane) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaheen said...

It does look good. I was going to make a soup too with the cauliflower I have, but changed my mind at the last minute. Still have another cauliflower who knows - soup may still be on the menu later this week.

Maggie said...

Great set of ingredients and from Shaun Hill you just know it will be a winner. I wish I had made the trip to Ludlow when he had a restaurant in the town.

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

Was just looking for inspirations to finish up the carliflower in the fridge - wonderful idea!

tasteofbeirut said...

I love cauliflower soup but have always had it rather bland; these spices would make it so much more flavorful.

Elaine said...

The title of the post says it all.

I made the recipe and the soup is everything I hoped it would be. We (husband and I) are very much into soups at the moment; this one has made it into my family recipe book, for future generations to enjoy too.

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Guys, I can't tell you how happy it is when someone enjoys the post, the recipe and the real thing!