Sunday, 18 January 2009

Cauliflower soup

British cauliflower should be coming into season in February, so I thought I'd post a relevant recipe, for cauliflower soup. I think cauliflower is one of those underrated vegetables, like sprouts, that get their reputation because many people only every experience them when they haven't been cooked properly.

Anyway, I'd recommend giving this a try, even if you don't normally like cauliflower. The base for this soup is a simple Roux, which is nothing more then a mix of heated fat and flower. In this case, we'll be using butter for the fat. A Roux is the base for many white sauces and some soups, such as this one.

However, to start with, you'll need to cook some cauliflower by boiling it in lightly salted water. At the end the cauliflower should be firm, but not crunchy. When it's cooked, place the cauliflower and the remaining water from the cooking into a bowl to cool. It is important that this is allowed to cool to nearly room temperature before the next stage.

To make the Roux, melt some butter in a saucepan and, once it is nice and hot, add flower. Some recipes suggest equal measures of flower and fat, by weight. I prefer to add the flour slowly, one spoon at a time aiming for the right consistency. Once the flower and butter are combined, you should end up with a thick, but smooth, yellow mixture.

Next, we need to thin the Roux, using the water we saved from cooking the cauliflower, which by now should have cooled to something close to room temperature. This water will contain some of the flavour from the cauliflower, which will help to flavour the soup. Add the water slower, stirring the mixture continuously. Once enough water has been added, we can put the cooked cauliflower in.
Now, all that remains is to thin the soup to the desired consistency, and to season with black pepper. Remember that the water we cooked the cauliflower in was already lightly salted! You should end up with something that looks like this:

Serve with crusty bread and a sprinkling of parsley!


Anonymous said...

I very much like looking at pictures of people making soup.
This blog has made my day.
Thankyou Dr Bat

Dr. B said...

No problem!