Cauliflower is a wonderfully flexible vegetable. It’s delicious raw, roasted, covered in cheese, made into soup and much more. This delightful cookbook explains its history and health benefits, how to buy it, how to cook it, and how to love it. There are recipes for soups, snacks, meals, salads and pickles.
I’ve always loved cauliflower and cook with it often. How could I resist grabbing this?
Cauliflower soup with nutmeg cream
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, white part only, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 sprigs of thyme
500 g (1 lb 2 oz/about 1/2 medium) cauliflower, trimmed and chopped
350 g (q12 oz/about 1/2 large celeriac, peeled and chopped
560 ml (19 1/4 fl oz/2 1/4 cups), chicken stock approximately
300 ml (10 1/2 fl oz” single (pure/pouring) cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
For the nutmeg cream, combine the crème fraîche and grated nutmeg in a bowl, stir well and refrigerate.
Heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the leek, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the cauliflower and celeriac. Cover the pan and cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender—add a few tablespoons of water if they start to stick. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.
Remove the thyme sprigs then, using an immersion blender or food processor, process to a smooth purée, adding a little extra stock if it is too thick. Return to the heat until nearly simmering. Stir in the cream and lemon juice, season and serve with the nutmeg cream.
How it played out
Yesterday I ventured out to buy a bulb of celeriac (Covid-19 has hampered my shopping expeditions). Luckily I had everything else on hand, including a tub of crème fraîche that was close to its use-by date and my last whole seed of nutmeg (must buy more soon).
I made the recipe exactly as written, adding a couple of tablespoons of water after I added the cauliflower and celeriac. Puréed the soup with my immersion blender.
Was delighted to use the nutmeg grinder given to me by Malou, a friend in Belgium. Twenty years ago in Ghent, I admired her grinder and she made it a mission to find me one too. I cherish it, especially because Malou died last year after losing a battle with breast cancer. We met in Syria 40 years ago, and she is one of only a few friends who knew both Poor John and me before we married. We miss her.
What is there to say? I love cauliflower. This ticked all the boxes. We’re in the midst of winter in Australia and I’ll be making this often. That said, it’s quite nice cold and at room temperature. So try it any time.
No one is travelling these days, but my memories are kicking in. You are most welcome to check out some of my previous trips. I’d head back to India any day to have this wonderful salty drink agin.