Cauliflower soup and garlic and cheese sourdough dippers

  • Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
  • 45g butter
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small heads cauliflower, or 1 large, cut into small bunches of florets
  • 3 sticks of celery and leafy tops from the heart of stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. plain flour
  • 1.1L chicken stock
  • 250ml single cream
  • Hot sauce, optional
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves or chives, for garnish
  • 50g grated Parmesan, for passing at the table
  • For the dippers
  • 3 sandwich size sourdough English muffins (recommended: Thomas' brand) split
  • 45g butter
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Grated cheddar and Parmesan
  • Paprika
1) In a large pot, heat up the olive oil and two tablespoons of the butter, over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower florets and stir with a wooden spoon. Add celery, onion and thyme and cook for three minutes.

2) Push the vegetables to one side of the pot. Melt one more tablespoon of butter on empty side of pot and add flour to the butter. Cook for one minute, stirring the flour in the butter. Mix in chicken stock and single cream. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

3) Puree soup using a hand blender, food processor or blender and return to pot. I like to leave it a little chunky. Check seasoning and add a dash of hot sauce, if desired.

4) Garnish soup with hot pepper sauce, chopped parsley or chives and serve with grated cheese to sprinkle on top.
5) Toast English muffin halves and then place on a baking sheet. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the garlic over low heat. Brush toasted muffins with garlic butter and top with lots of grated cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Sprinkle a little paprika over toasts, then place under broiler until cheeses are melted and browned. Serve cheesy toasts with soup for dipping.

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