• David Hall

Cauliflower Cheese and Chive Soup

Cauliflower cheese has to be a true British classic. Whoever thought of combining this beautiful white Brassica 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 (http://www.doddingtondairy.co.uk) so try to seek out your local cheese producers if you can.

Cauliflower Cheese and Chive Soup

Ingredients - feeds 4

1 Cauliflower, trimmed and chopped roughly

2 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots or 1 onion, sliced

500ml vegetable stock

150g strong cheddar cheese, grated

50g butter

50g plain flour

250ml milk

Salt and Pepper

1 - Pre-heat the oven to 200C/GM6. Put the chopped cauliflower in a mixing bowl and mix with 1 tbsp olive oil. Spread out on a baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden brown.

2 - Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the shallot or onion. Cook for 5-10 minutes stirring regularly until it goes soft and translucent.

3 - Add the roasted cauliflower then pour in the stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes until softened completely.

4 - Stir in the cheese and thoroughly combine. Either using a hand blender or a food processor, blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning - it shouldn't need any salt due to the cheese.

6 - Serve the soup in bowls with some optional chopped chives and a drizzle of olive oil.

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