I have just stood behind a woman in a shop who was spending £7.70 for soup (6 cans) and bread! Heinz cream of tomato – so nothing special. It occurred to me that soup is one of the cheapest foods to make. It costs pence for a few veg, a stock cube, water, a splash of oil or butter and perhaps cream if you’re going all out for the luxury experience. And soup is what we all fancy in this cold weather. So here is one of my favourite soup recipes. I would probably buy the bread though, as a large loaf (800g) can cost as little as about £1.20, and it is a bit convoluted to make yourself.
This lovely cauliflower soup recipe can be varied by using almost any veg: pumpkin, asparagus, parsnip, celeriac etc. The secret of getting a lovely velvety soup, I’ve found, is in the SIEVING. I make a lot of vegetable soups but none have come out as creamy and gorgeous as this. The other secret is SUGAR. Plus cream and butter – what’s not to like?
Cream of Cauliflower Soup (Serves 4)
- 25g butter
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 400ml chicken stock or water and a stock cube (see below)
- 1 stock cube (I recommend chicken, unless you are veggie)
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 200ml single cream
- Trim the cauliflower and discard the coarse outer leaves, but use the tender inner ones.
- Break into small florets, and chop the stems too (peeling the coarser bits).
- Place in a saucepan with the butter and heat gently, then add stock, cube and sugar.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Blend in a food processor and SIEVE in batches, back into the cleaned pan.
- Add the cream and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste, reheat and serve.
Tip: Stock: Use chicken or veg stock here, as you prefer. Sometimes my homemade chicken stock comes out a bit bland, so I add a cube anyway. I think you get the best of both worlds: you feel as though you haven’t wasted the carcass, but you get a good flavour too.
Freezing: Like all foods with a high water content, this freezes well. You might want to save adding the cream till after it’s defrosted though (in case it splits) but I had no problems.