Friday, January 13, 2012

Saintly Cauliflower Soup – with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto Sinners

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Sometimes stuff doesn’t make sense to me, like the greengrocer explaining I could have two cauliflowers or none, when I wanted just one.  It was a ‘take it or leave it’ situation, but what’s a girl to do with two cauliflowers? Everyone to whom I offered the spare had already either been to the shop and either purchased two or temporarily sworn off cauliflower in protest at having a brace of anaemic brassicas foisted upon them.

Too much of a good thing?

One cauliflower was dispatched into a relatively saintly, healthy New Year’s resolution soup which I topped with sinful blue cheese and prosciutto croutons. One cauliflower down, one to go. Got any ideas?

For 6 - 8 servings you will need...
25g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, peeled of stringy bits, roughly chopped
200mls dry white wine
600g cauliflower broken into florets
900mls good quality chicken stock (homemade if possible)
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled
Salt and ground white pepper to taste

1           Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion and celery. Lower the heat and fry gently for about 5 minutes until onion is soft and translucent but has not taken on any colour. Add the wine and let simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
2          Add cauliflower and chicken stock to the saucepan (you could use vegetarian stock if you prefer). When it has come to the boil, lower the heat, add the clove of garlic and ground white pepper, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Blend to a smooth liquid – a stick blender is the perfect tool for this. Taste and add salt and more white pepper only if necessary. The soup is pretty saintly so far. Be a devil and add these sinful croutons.

Blue cheese and prosciutto sinners!


Croutons
4 slices French bread, each about 1cm thick, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
20g blue cheese, crumbled
20g prosciutto, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 180°C  
(War on Waste note: I try to make these croutons when I have something else baking in the oven to avoid using a whole heap of energy for a few croutons)

3          Place the croutons in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the blue cheese and prosciutto pieces. Scatter on a shallow baking tray and bake for about 5 minutes or until golden and the cheese has melted. Set a timer and keep an eye on them because they go from golden to charcoal in a flash.

Instead of the croutons you could add a swirl of fresh cream, or sprinkle with a little crumbled blue cheese before serving.

p.s. If you enjoy reading Alchemy in the Kitchen please consider nominating it for the Bloggies!
Click the link before Monday 16th January - http://2012.bloggi.es/ - and scroll down to the Food or Writing sections - depending on which aspect you like best and nominate Alchemy as follows:

Nominee: Alchemy in the Kitchen     URL: www.alchemyinthekitchen.ie
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21 comments:

Tina said...

This looks amazing! While I am sure that the silky smooth texture and wonderful taste is a winner of a soup, I really love the sinful topper-yum!
I tried to vote and I got a message saying no server found, but I will try again.

Natasha Price said...

Sounds amazing with the blue cheese and prosciutto! Yum!

Rosemary said...

I'd be happy to take that extra off your hands! Love cauliflower. Very versatile. I often mash cauliflower like potatoes. A low-cal alternative, until I add the Parm! (Just like you with the blue!)

Isabelle @ Crumb said...

Saintly and sinful, all in one bowl... oh yes, I could definitely go for that!
BTW, my favourite way to serve cauliflower is au gratin. As far as I'm concerned, there are few things cauliflower likes quite as much as creamy bechamel and a crispy cheese-and-crumb topping.

Cucina49 said...

That looks creamy and oh-so-appealing--and every dish needs just a litle something bad for you. Perfect!

The Culinary Lens said...

That soup looks delicious. I'd do a curried roast cauliflower with the other head.
I am having problems with the Bloggies link too

Anne@FromMySweetHeart said...

Hester...how could I resist saints and sinners in the same soup?!?! This looks incredibly good, especially when topped with your salty cheesy sinners! What to do with the other cauliflower? Make another batch of soup for me! : )

WiseMóna said...

I love this soup...it is sinful.
I like roasted cauliflower best with a bit of olive oil, garlic powder and a bit of Parmesan at the end. The kids eat it as a snack instead of popcorn when watching a movie. Just do not let it overcook. We also have made a cauliflower ricotta and raspberry cheesecake. I have the recipe somewhere..and it was good. Good luck with the competition dear. I will vote for you of course.

Jill Colonna said...

Hester, I love your saintly and sinful version of Cauliflower soup. Absolutely worth sinning on this one ;-) If you had 2 of them to start with, reminds me of playing with them around the ears, as one of our neighbours when we were little was nicknamed "cauliflower lugs". Charming, eh? This looks so good, I'd just make double...
Also tried going in the site to vote for you, Hester, but the link doesn't work and can't find it. Help!

Charlie said...

This looks so good!

Try Chef Dennis at The Culinary Journey.

He has instructions, maybe a recipe for roasted cauliflower.

bananamondaes said...

This looks velvety smooth. I like a roasted cauliflower with lots of nutmeg.

Rachel said...

Such a clever post title!
I looove roasted cauliflower (that's what you should do with your other two!) but have never made soup with it. I've been on a real soup kick lately though so this recipe fits right with my mood!

Maureen said...

This soup looks amazing. I think I'd make the soup again with the other cauliflower!

Ann said...

This soup is absolutely stunning and I LOVE the title of the soup and post! As for the other one - I am confident that no matter what you come up with - it'll be spectacular!

firefoodie said...

Love the soup! There must be a good savoury 'kick' from the sinful ingredients!... for the spare, there is always the low carb cauliflower puree.. or a good old comforting baked cauliflower cheese.... :) Wise Mona's roasted cauli snack things sound worth a try too!

Grubarazzi said...

I love the little nibbles on top, and this gives me a great idea for the 2 heads of cauliflower in my kitchen :)... I was thinking of gently roasting one with curry powder and garlic.

CulinaryCache said...

I am a HUGE fan of soup and cauliflower, what a great combo especially with the addition of blue cheese AND prosciutto... I'll have to try this recipe very soon!

Manu said...

A M A Z I N G Soup and those croutons would be impossible to resist for a blue cheese lover like me!!! <3
I always make pasta with cauliflower, saffron, pine nuts and raisins... :-)

The Harried Cook said...

This is a fabulous post! I LOVE soup and blue cheese, and prosciutto AND cauliflower... So it is no surprise that I love this recipe! Thanks for sharing :) I love the photographs, too!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I've seen cauliflower soups on other blogs, but I really like your version with blue cheese and prosciutto sinners! Totally fancy and oh it must be soooo good!

Ruth said...

This soup looks amazing, I can jsut imagine how good it tastes! Yum!