Cauliflowers – remember the days when it was overcooked by our Mothers, and a watery mush was slopped onto our plates? Eww! Or a dish of cauliflower, overcooked again, covered with cheese and baked? Oh maybe not, you might not be old enough. But thank goodness, the understanding of cauliflower has come a long way since those days. The things we can now do with a cauli! Roast it, grill it, rice it, fry it, deep fry it, the variations are endless.
This is a simple but beautiful soup, the recipe was given to me by the multi-talented Ilva, food photographer and former food blogger. It is so simple and so good, in a gentle sort of way. I have added almonds to her recipe and some white pepper which I love with cauliflower.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Almonds
1 small cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets, with the stem cut into dice
2 Tblspn almonds
750ml vegetable stock or water
100ml pouring cream
leaves from 1 branch oregano or large pinch dried oregano
zest and 1 Tblspn juice from 1 small lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toss the almonds in a hot pan until slightly toasted and then grind to a powder in your spice grinder, food processor or mortar and pestle. Set aside.
Put the prepared cauliflower into a pan and cook gently in olive oil for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the oregano, grated lemon zest, sugar and the stock or water. Simmer until the cauliflower is soft, around 10 – 15 minutes.
Add a good sprinkling of white pepper, and mix in.
Blend the cauliflower with the almonds in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender until very smooth. Add the cream and lemon juice, mix well and season with sea salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust lemon juice and seasoning if necessary.
Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve.