Cauliflower is ideal for warm soups on cooler evenings. This Irish concoction comes together simply, feeds four and is meat-free. Butter up some brown bread, toss a small salad and you have a full meal.
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 quart vegetable stock
1 large cauliflower, divided into small florets
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
4 ounces freshly grated mature cheddar cheese (see note)
1 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons heavy cream, for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Gently sauté the onion and potato in the butter over a very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. Add the stock and cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. Purée in a blender or food processor, then return the soup to the pan and bring back to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and milk. Reheat gently, adjust the seasoning and serve, topped with a spoonful of cream and some chopped chives.
Note: Already shredded cheese is likely to be treated with potato starch or corn starch to prevent caking. If you use this in this soup recipe, it will likely make it thicker and gummier.
Makes 4 servings.
From “The Avoca Café Cookbook” by Hugo Arnold with Leylie Hayes
(photo: Monika Szczygieł)