Thursday, 8 May 2014

Cauliflower and Cheese Soup with Watercress and Pea Purée

Cauliflower cheese has to be a true British classic. Whoever thought of combining this beautiful white specimen with a rich cheese sauce deserves a medal, as it has to be one of the few vegetable dishes you want to eat in its entirety with no accompaniment. It is simply delicious.

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 ( 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
Olive oil
500ml water
150g Berwick Edge Cheese (or any good strong cheddar), grated
50g butter
50g plain flour
250ml milk
Salt and Pepper

For the purée
2 handfuls of frozen or fresh peas, softened in boiling water for 2 minutes
2 handfuls of watercress
100ml yoghurt

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.


Anonymous said...

I must try this recipe as my older child hates cauliflower...
Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Antonia said...

Cauliflower cheese is such a favourite. Love the idea of turning it into a luxurious soup with that lovely puree too.

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