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Cauliflower Cheese Soup

March 12, 2013

The Whole Vegetable 

I really enjoy cooking from recipes which use the entire body of the main ingredient.  This cauliflower soup was so interesting.  I did not know the stalk of the cauliflower could be eaten as well as the florets.  The pureed stalk provided an additional flavour dimension.  I did not need to use a pre made stock cube as this was a milk based soup, the first I had ever made.  I was nervous at first because I was concerned the soup would lack flavour.  I was very wrong.  Cauliflower is such a wonderful vegetable it tastes fantastic when cooked well.  This soup really celebrates the cauliflower,  I was delighted with the outcome.  I adore simple recipes which focus solely on the beauty of the main fresh ingredient.  This soup is creamy, elegant and perfect for a quiet afternoon or sophisticated dinner with friends and family.

This recipe was adapted from The Dairy Book of Family Cookery (Ebury Press, 1983).

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Ingredients:

1 medium cauliflower, salt, 100g butter, 25g flour, 300ml milk, 100g mild cheddar cheese (grated), black pepper (optional).

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Method: 

1. Chop the cauliflower florets away from the stalk and set aside.
2. Cook the stalk  gently in salted boiling water for 45 minutes.
3. Mash up the stalk in a small separate bowl. A blender can also be used.
4. Keep the water used to cook the stalk and add more water to reach 300ml.
5. In a large saucepan melt 50g of the butter and sauté the florets.
6. Remove the florets and set aside.
7. Add the remaining butter into the saucepan and stir in the flour.
8. Add the reserved cauliflower water.
9. Cook stirring continuously until the mixture thickens.
10. Add the milk and florets and boil continuously stirring.
11. Blend the florets with a hand blender and add the mashed stalk.
12. Add roughly 10 – 20ml of water to loosen the soup and stir.
13. Mix in the the cheese, leaving some to serve.
14. When the soup  has been blended serve with cheese sprinkled on top and season lightly with black pepper.

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