It is snowing outside. White, pure, heavy snow. Within minutes the garden is covered in white and something peaceful and new settles upon the land. Like a blanket of light. Like a promise of warmth and a new tomorrow. Something deep stirs within the soul and all is as it should be. Winter snow falling like childhood memories. I wait impatiently for the whiteness to fully cover the earth and jump outside to feel, smell and be one with the winter. There is a Bulgarian poet saying that “his soul is earning for snow, eager to leave a pure clean footstep on its surface”. I feel the same way. I inhale deep the crisp cold air and watch as my breath melts the falling snow. Its tender touch caressing my skin, my smile welcoming its dance with child like wonder.
There is nothing more blissful than coming home from a fresh winter walk outside and be welcomed with the smell of fragrant warm soup. Winter soups are something amazing. Deep-earth fragrant, they have the power to go deep within and warm the darkest places. This creamy roasted cauliflower soup, takes a humble vegetable and sings all its glory. Something magical happens with cauliflower in the oven. It terns from fresh and tender, light and fragrant taste to deep, caramelised perfection. One flavour makes it all, but not quite yet, a sprinkle of ground nutmeg and a few droplets of lemon juice take it to a completely new dimension and before you know, a humble cauliflower soup terns into an exquisite culinary dream. A must try to all winter veggie lovers.
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Fine sea salt
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 250ml vegetable broth
- 250ml light soya cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more if needed
- Scant ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley and chives
1. Preheat the oven to 200C degrees. If desired, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
2. On the baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until lightly and evenly coated in oil. Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Bake until the cauliflower is tender and caramelised on the edges, 25 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway.
3. Once the cauliflower is almost done, in a soup pot, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and turning translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the broth.
5. Reserve 4 of the prettiest roasted cauliflower florets for garnish. Then transfer the remaining cauliflower to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, to give the flavours time to meld.
6. Once the soup is done cooking, remove the pot from the heat and blend the soup until smooth.
7. Add the light soya cream and if necessary some more water and blend until smooth. Add the lemon juice and nutmeg and blend again. Add additional salt, to taste. This soup tastes amazing once it’s properly salted! You can also a little more lemon juice, if it needs more zing. Blend again.
8. Top individual bowls of soup with roasted cauliflower florets and a sprinkle of chopped parsley and chives.