Caramelised cauliflower + cumin soup with cheesy croutons

Caramelised cauliflower + cumin soup with cheesy croutons

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Serves
4
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

If you ever find yourself with half a cauliflower lurking in the fridge, this creamy, cumin-spiced soup is one of the tastiest ways of using it up. I like to caramelise the cauliflower to intensify its flavour and add a sweet depth to the soup, which works really nicely with the cumin. I’d favour the wonderful nuttiness of Comté for the croutons if you can find it, otherwise gruyére or Cheddar will do just fine.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
big knob butter
1/2 large cauliflower
1/2 large white onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 potato, peeled and thickly sliced
1 litre chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon plain natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon cider vinegar, (optional)
salt
freshly ground black pepper
double cream, for drizzling

Cheesy croutons

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 small french baguette, cut into rounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked, (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
10g comte, mature cheddar or gruyere, finely grated

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a deep, heavy-based saucepan or cast-iron skillet until sizzling. Turn the heat down to low-medium, add the cauliflower and onion (both cut side down), cover, and leave for about 15 minutes. The sliced side of the cauliflower that’s in contact with the pan will gently caramelise, intensifying the nutty flavour of the cauliflower, while the rest of it will steam. The same thing will happen with the onion, making it sweet and soft.
  2. While the cauliflower and onion are cooking, prepare the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Toss the baguette rounds in the olive oil, thyme (if using) and salt in a baking tray until coated, and roast for 5–8 minutes until golden and crunchy (how long this takes will depend on your oven and how thickly you’ve sliced the bread, so keep an eye on them). Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Uncover the cauliflower and onion pan, and add the cumin seeds and potato slices. Add a little more olive oil if needed and toast for a further 3 minutes, uncovered, flipping the potato slices over once so they are golden brown on both sides. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and liquidise with a stick blender, or pop it into a food processor or jug blender and blitz until it’s a thick, but not too gloopy, soup. Add the yoghurt and lemon juice and stir in: this will add some acidity, but taste it and if it needs perking up further, add the cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of double cream, and stir.
  5. Preheat the grill. Pour the soup into deep heat-proof bowls, top with the croutons then pile the croutons with the grated cheese. Place under the grill until the cheese has started to bubble, then serve.
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