Cauliflower Soup with Caraway and Chorizo

imageNobody can deny that the once humble cauliflower is the new broccoli. The reigning darling of the health-conscious, and the saviour of “The Cult of Banting” cauliflower’s stock has never been so high.

Once only to be found shroud in a béchamel sauce, these days you can find a myriad of recipes for this previously maligned vegetable. Long before it became de rigueur though, I’d been using cauliflower to make this amazing soup.

What elevates this soup beyond just being a bowl of bland puréed cauliflower is the simple addition of caraway seeds. These add an earthy note, giving the soup a depth of flavour that would otherwise be lacking. In addition to some lightly fried spicy chorizo, I usually garnish the soup in a number of ways, depending on the occasion. For an informal meal I would use some fresh flat-leafed parsley, but for a dinner party I would sprinkle over some snipped chives. If I really want to impress, however, I would garnish the soup with some crispy sage leaves. The added texture and flavour takes the dish to an entirely different level. Just make sure you don’t burn the sage!

I love this soup; not because it’s trending or good for me, but because it is cheap, easy and surprisingly sophisticated – truly this is a soup for all occasions. Long after the cauliflower’s time in the spotlight is over and it returns to being the humble vegetable it once was, I know I’ll continue loving this recipe, and so will you.

Note: being stubbornly pre-Banting my recipe does contain potatoes, but theses are included out of habit and not necessity, so can easily be omitted if desired.

Cauliflower Soup with Caraway and Chorizo: Serves 6

  • 1 large head of cauliflower (approx. 700g), cut into small florets
  • 1 medium potato, peeled & diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1.5l stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Cooking chorizo (10g per serving), finely diced

Method:

  1. Sauté the onions in 2 tbsp. olive oil until translucent (about 5 minutes)
  2. Add the garlic and caraway seeds, continue sautéing for a couple of minutes
  3. Add the cauliflower florets and diced potato
  4. Pour in enough stock to just cover the vegetables, add some boiling water if there isn’t enough stock
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
  6. Partially cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through (approx. 15 minutes)
  7. Take off the heat
  8. Using a blender, blend the soup until smooth
  9. Place a fine sieve over another pot and pass the soup through the sieve
  10. Check soup for seasoning and adjust accordingly
  11. In a small pan, heat the remaining tbsp. olive oil
  12. Add the diced chorizo. Sauté until lightly brown and the chorizo releases its flavours into the oil

To Serve: Ladle the hot soup into warm bowls and sprinkle with fried chorizo. Drizzle with some of the flavoured oil and crack over some black pepper.  Garnish with either some finely chopped parsley, snipped chives or some crispy sage leaves

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