Recently my mama was sick and being entirely useless in all other areas, all I could do was cook for her. She’d had radiotherapy on her throat so swallowing anything was a struggle – soup in this instance is my go to solution. Besides, who doesn’t want soup when you feel shitty?
I won’t suggest that this recipe is original by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a classic combo that’s been done many many times, but I didn’t follow a recipe, I just kinda winged it. And mum, now that she’s feeling a tad more lively, wants to make it herself. Hence it’s inclusion here.
Just to annoy the disinterested, the basis of this soup is a “mire blanc” aka celery, leek and onion. I tell you this because I’m often lazy and may just say, make a mire blanc…. or make a mire poix (celery, carrot and onion).
- 1 large head of cauliflower, florets ripped up and stalky bits chopped into small pieces
- 1 – 1 1/2 litres of chicken stock (or vegetable if you want to keep it vegetarian). the variance in liquid volume is personal preference. If you like it looser, add more liquid. If you like it thicker, add less. It ain’t rocket science.
- 2 white, yellow or brown onions
- 1/2 head (?) of celery
- 1 large leek
- 50-100g gorgonzola (not the sweet kind, you want one that’s bitey like a bitch. I say 50-100g cos it’s very much a personal thing. I want to taste it snapping and snarling at me whereas others like a softer subtle hint of the cheese. Gorgonzola vs other blue cheeses – frankly the Gorg – as I fondly call it – is my fave but whatevs. Go with what you’ve got.)
- 2 garlic cloves
- salt & pepper
- 1 nutmeg, whole
- 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Heat your stock to just boiling. Remove from heat.
- Chop all your veges and garlic roughly.
The theory is that the smaller they are chopped the more flavour you’ll get out of them. Whatever. Just chop ’em. Keep your cauli separate from the rest.
- Put your soup pan on medium heat and add a big lug of olive oil
It’s gonna get soaked up quickly and you don’t want to get any colour on your vegetables so make sure there’s plenty.
- Making sure the pan is on medium and the oil is hot but nowhere near smoking, add your leek, onion, garlic and celery.
- Sweat till softened.
Do NOT get any colour on them. We don’t want any browning to occur.
- Add the cauliflower and stir.
- Add the salt, cumin, grate in a wack of nutmeg (frankly this is such a personal taste thing. I like loads so I do probably a quarter of the nutmeg) and stir.
- Let the cauli cook so it softens just for a minute or two.
- Turn up the heat a to high and quickly add the wine.
- Wack the heat on your stock to warm up again (if it needs it).
- Let the wine cook out so there’s no alcohol left when you smell the steam.
- Add your hot stock to the soup pan.
- Cook for about 30 minutes – basically till all the veg are very yielding when poked with a fork.
- Tear up your cheese and stir all but a few bits into the soup.
- Blitz with a stick blender till very smooth
- Serve with a couple of that reserved gorgonzola crumbled over the top, a crack or two (or three) of pepper and some crusty bread.