I’m not usually a fan of cauliflower. I don’t hate it, but I just don’t love it. I’ve been trying out a few recipes with cauliflower lately because it is so darn cheap and always easy to find. I recently tried some cauliflower rice (a raw cooking substitute often used in salads or raw sushi) but it didnt really grab me… which has led me to the conclusion that the accompanying flavours need to be paired extremely well with cauliflower; not overpowering, but simply allowing it to shine….
Today I really wanted to make the most of the gentle flavour from the cauliflower; I cooked it slowly in vegetable stock and milk with a little leek and garlic, then at the end pureed it with creme fraiche. To pack in a little punch I created a toasted crumb for the topping. The buckwheat, sesame & rosemary give an intense nutty flavour which only comes through in the bite after devouring a silky spoonful of the soup. The result is a dazzling combination; a delcious buttery texture for the palate and a lovely fragrant aroma which fills the house.
(makes 4 serves)
For the soup:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 leek, white part only, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
300ml strong vegetable stock
300ml milk (full cream, or skimmed, whatever you prefer for your waistline)
3 white pepper corns
100 g creme fraiche
salt and pepper to season
For the crumb:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 red onion, very finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
3 Tbsp buckwheat groats
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Olive oil & fresh rosemary leaves, warm turkish bread or ciabatta
Begin by making the soup: heat the olive oil in a soup pot and gently fry the leek, garlic & onions until soft and translucent.
Add the chopped cauliflower, bayleaf, vegetable stock, milk and peppercorns.
Bring to the boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Place a lid on top and cook gently until the cauliflower is completely soft.
Remove from the heat and add the creme fraiche.
Blend using a stick blender or food processor until smooth and silky.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the crumb:
Prepare while the soup is cooking.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
Add the onion, rosemary and garlic and cook until translucent.
Add the sesame seeds and buckwheat groats and continue to cook until the onion turns crispy and the seeds turn golden brown.
Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, place in warm soup bowls, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle crumb and rosemary leaves on top.