Soup will always remind me of family. Of Melbourne winters. Of my childhood. Lazy Sunday lunches when we would return home from visiting our grandparents and share stories over a big bowl of steaming soup with freshly baked bread on the side. So I think it is no surprise that when Winter arrives in Canberra, I find myself more inclined to put a big batch of soup on the stove. Something that we can add to at dinner time, or enjoy at lunchtime when the day outside is dark and dreary. This particular soup, was inspired by the huge head of cauliflower that arrived in our weekly vegetable box. A quick scour of my recipe books, and I came across a recipe for cauliflower soup that had me intrigued. Simple in ingredients, and method. Adapted to use up a leek that we also had in the fridge. Simply – a sliced leek sautéed in a little olive oil, then combined with the whole cauliflower that I had chopped roughly. Then in went chicken stock, and I let the mixture simmer for a good 30 to 40 minutes. Finished with a teaspoon of the ‘secret’ ingredient… Then pureed into a luscious creamy soup. I served the soup with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese, and a couple lightly toasted English muffins on the side. With my first mouthful – I was in heaven. Silky smooth soup – that was packed with flavour – despite having very few ingredients! And as we chatted over our steaming bowls of soup that evening, I was transported back to those lovely Sunday afternoons of my childhood. And my heart was warmed. Cauliflower soup (serves 3-4)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 leek, sliced (white part only)
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1 L chicken stock
- 1 tsp vegemite
- Fresh parsley and grated parmesan, to serve
- Heat oil in a large pan over a medium/high heat. Add the leek, and sauté until it has started to soften, stirring.
- Add the cauliflower and stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes – or until the cauliflower is nice and soft.
- Add the vegemite, and stir to combine.
- Remove from the heat, and puree until smooth.
- Ladle into bowls, and top with parsley and parmesan – to taste.
What about you? Have any fond childhood memories that you would care to share?