I've just made a really moreish cauliflower soup.
We've got swim club tonight, which finishes late and, as there's school tomorrow, I need to have some supper that's going to be ready to serve up as soon as we get home. So the grand plan is to leave this in my Crock Pot with the setting on warm so that it's ready to go the moment we step through the door.
Mr B. should be home before us, but, as this soup's got cheese in, I'm not sure his technical skills would be up to reheating it. If we leave him in charge we're likely to find ourselves peering into a pot with a charcoal encrusted bottom and that awful smell of burnt food hanging in the air as he does his funny little tribal dance under the smoke alarm in a bid to disperse the fumes before it dials for the fire brigade.
Oh, no! We've been there too many times before. Mr B is the one person I know who really can't boil water, so we'll leave everything safely in the Crock Pot, and issue Mr B with an injunction prohibiting him from interfering with it in any way whatsoever.
Now, what makes this soup of yours so special, Bonny? I hear you ask your computer screen as you point a doubting finger at my mugshot and suspect me of hyperbole.
Well there are two stealth weapons that help make this the very best cauliflower soup in town:
1. Roasted cauliflower: I roast the cauliflower, which bigs up its flavour by a factor of about a thousand.
2. Le Roulé: I melt 150 g of French Roulé cheese into the pot before I bring it to the table, which bigs up the creamy, unctuous deliciousness by a factor of about another thousand (all scientifically-calibrated and totally conservative estimates, of course - ahem!).
Now I can't pretend that this is going to assist as part of your controlled weight loss plan, but come on peeps it's February! You can hide away all those adorable love-handles under layers of strategically draped wool for at least another couple of months.
So, now that that's all settled, here's what we're going to need for this wonderful soup of mine:
1 medium sized cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
1000 ml of good vegetable stock
1 medium sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 toes of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
2 bay leaves
150g Le Roulé soft cheese
200 ml double cream - I use the Elmlea low fat cream in a token effort to regain a little ground in the calorie war that I'm so spectacularly losing at the moment.
And here's what to do:
Place your washed cauliflower florets in a baking tin and toss them with some olive oil. Roast them in an oven pre-heated to 190º C/ 375º F for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing them from time to time so that they don't brown.
Meanwhile sweat your onion, garlic and potatoes in a saucepan with a good glug of olive oil until they are all soft.
Add the roasted cauliflower florets and mix everything well before adding the vegetable stock.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse and for everything to cook through.
Remove from the heat. Fish out the bay leaves and discard them. Then liquidise with a stick blender.
Add the cream and the cheese over the gentlest of heats. Stir in. The cheese melts easily into the soup to create a wonderful velvety delight, and the parsley in which it was rolled disperses through the liquid to make it look as though you're a wizard with the mandolin.
Serve with crusty bread, good company and a nice glass of vino.
All the best for now,