Soup is so delicious at any time of the year and is such a great option for when you want to shift a few pounds (like I am trying to do at the moment). I can’t ever do diets that need separate meals to be made as realistically I’m not going to make myself a meal and then a separate one for my family. So soup is my answer. It’s a healthy and filling meal for all and everyone else can have some bread with it but I just stick to the soup.
I’ve recently become addicted to roasted cauliflower and have been experimenting with it so many ways. Last week I decided to try out a roasted cauliflower and garlic soup. I wanted to add a bit of a twist to the soup so I decided to add some smoked cheese to give it a subtle smoky flavour. Here’s my recipe:
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND GARLIC SOUP with smoked cheese
2 heads cauliflower (trimmed and broken in to florets)
6-8 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
3-4 tbs olive oil
1l vegetable stock
100 ml single cream
100 gms smoked cheddar cheese grated (if you can’t get smoked cheddar, try another smoked cheese)
75 gms diced pancetta (fried till golden brown) – optional
handful of finely chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 200°c (fan oven). Place the cauliflower florets in an oven proof ceramic or porcelain dish. I’ve tried metal roasting tins and I always find I get a better result in glassware. Drizzle over the olive oil and make sure all the florets are coated with it. Wrap your garlic cloves in some foil with a drop of olive oil and place next to the cauliflower. Roast cauliflower and garlic for around 25-30 mins. Keep an eye on it as you want the cauliflower florets to be a nice golden brown but not burned. Sometimes this happens quickly but other times it takes longer so my timing is a guide.
Once roasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit. Next, squeeze out the soft, roasted garlic bulbs and place in a blender with the roasted florets. Puree this and keep adding stock to thin it. I used about a litre of stock but you can use more or less depending on how thick or thin you like your soup. Season according to taste.
All the above can be done in advance. When you’re ready to eat, heat up the soup and add in the cheese. Once melted add the single cream. Serve the soup and top each portion with a few cubes of crispy pancetta (if using) and a scattering of chives.
The best part of this roasted cauliflower and garlic soup recipe is that anything goes and there are so many possible variations. The pancetta is entirely optional and so is the choice of cheese. I love a smoky cheese but a plain cheddar or parmesan will work well too. If you don’t want to use pancetta but still want some crunch, a few crushed tortilla chips would work well. You can also mix in any other veggies you have to hand. And for a bit of a kick, I quite like the idea of adding a few drops of sriracha.