Thursday, 8 May 2014
This soup is a true joy to eat, and any good strong cheese will suffice. I used a slab of Berwick Edge cheese from the amazing Doddington Dairy in Wooler (http://www.doddingtondairy.co.uk) as it is one of our tremendous local cheeses that sings like the best cheddar yet has a silky soft texture.
A simple purée with some peppery watercress, a few frozen peas and a little yoghurt makes this a sophisticated starter for any occasion.
Cauliflower and Cheese Soup with Watercress and Pea Purée
1 Cauliflower, trimmed and chopped roughly
2 shallots or 1 onion, sliced
150g Berwick Edge Cheese (or any good strong cheddar), grated
50g plain flour
Salt and Pepper
For the purée
2 handfuls of frozen or fresh peas, softened in boiling water for 2 minutes
2 handfuls of watercress
1 - Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the shallot and cauliflower. Cook for 5-10 minutes stirring regularly, until softened but not coloured.
2 - Add the water, bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes until softened completely. Blitz until smooth in a food processor or using a hand processor. Push through a sieve for a smoother consistency but I prefer the texture.
3 - Make a roux by melting the butter and adding the flour, stirring for 1 minute. Add the milk gradually until you have a thick sauce, the consistency of double cream.
4 - Stir in the cheese and thoroughly combine. Then stir into the soup. Taste for seasoning.
5 - Make a simple purée by blitzing the peas and watercress then stirring into the yoghurt.
6 - Serve the soup in bowls with a good spoonful of purée and a few shavings of cheese.