In Season: Cauliflower
The ill-will towards some vegetables like squash or brussels sprouts is hardly defensible when, with a basic pairing, they shine with flavour. Case in point, cauliflower and cheese.
I’ve let one of the cauliflowers in the garden go, harvesting it at a healthy 1kg in weight. I did ponder letting it go further and imagined myself standing next to a prize-winning giant cauliflower at some kind of state fair.
My Aunty Joann always made a terrific cauliflower and cheese bake which made an appearance at nearly every one of her BBQs. It was about as exciting as cauliflower got in suburban Sydney in the 70s and 80s. And whilst a recipe rendition of this seminal cauliflower favourite would go down a treat, I’m hankering for something that’s more of a meal in its own right.
When I saw this cauliflower soup calls for exactly 1kg of cauliflower and was paired with stinky Gruyère, I knew I had to give it a go. It did not disappoint. The soup on it’s own is a little plain for my liking, but with the addition of the croutons, another dimension in flavour and texture takes over. Dean was less than impressed with the aroma of the cheese on the afternoon I made this, and even less so at the prospect of eating soup for dinner (soup is not a meal on its own unless it has chucks of meat and vegetables in it, apparently), he was won over with the addition of the roughly torn bread toasted with mustard.
Cauliflower Soup with Mustard & Gruyère Croûtons
50ml olive oil
50g butter, cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large potato, cubed
1kg cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small pieces
6 cups chicken stock
100g Gruyere, grated
250 ml milk
sea salt and white pepper, to season
Mustard & Gruyère croûtons
20g butter, melted
20ml olive oil
2 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tbs grated Gruyere
100g sourdough, coarsely torn
Preheat the oven to 180C. Heat oil and half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion and potato and cover. Stir occasionally until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and stock and simmer over medium-high heat until both are very tender, about 20 minutes. Puree until smooth, stir through Gruyere, milk and remaining butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the croutons, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat. Line a baking tray with non-stick paper and spread the bread mixture evenly over the paper. Bake until golden and crunchy, about 8 minutes.
Serve the soup into warmed bowls and scatter the croutons over the top.
Adapted from Gourmet TravellerShare this on: