30th Sep 2020
This creamy yet ethereally light soup makes use of the cauliflower florets, stems, and core so nothing goes to waste. Anise notes from the fennel ground the soup, and a small amount of saffron adds a golden hue, floral flavour and otherworldly aroma. Pure heaven!
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
1/8 tsp saffron
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, chopped
1 bulb fennel, cored and sliced, fronds chopped
2 tbsp dry sherry (optional)
1 small head cauliflower, florets and stems cut into bite-size pieces, core thinly sliced
480ml vegetable or chicken stock
240ml tinned unsweetened coconut milk
¾ tsp sea salt, or to taste
½ tsp freshly ground white pepper, plus more for finishing
2 tsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Put the saffron in a tiny bowl or ramekin. Add 2 tsp hot water and leave to steep for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the sherry, if using, and cook until it evaporates, about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower, stock, coconut milk, salt, white pepper, and bloomed saffron and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is softened, about 15 minutes.
Working in two batches, transfer the soup to a blender (be careful blending hot liquids) and blend on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Rinse out the pan and return the soup to the pan. Add the lemon juice. Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed and add a little water or stock if the soup is too thick. Spoon into bowls, sprinkle with fennel fronds, add a drizzle of oil, and finish with a grind of the pepper mill.
Extracted from Cali’flour Kitchen by Amy Lacey (Abrams, approx €16).
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