When I was in Berlin I marveled at the variety and quality of fresh vegetables for a fraction of what we pay for them here. It’s so easy to eat healthy there because it’s cheaper to buy fresh foods than it is to buy processed and boxed stuff. Definitely cheaper than take out.
On one of my trips to the supermarket I saw the most beautiful cauliflower. Nestles lovingly in it’s leaves. I didn’t know what I would make with it but I knew I had to have it. I cursed my impulse buy walking up my 81 steps home with this heavy thing in my shopping bags but when I took it out and basked in it’s glorious freshness again I forgave myself.
For a few days I played with different ideas until one cold night I decided that soup was the way to go. I searched my fridge for other ingredients that would add to the flavour of the soup without drowning out the flavour of the cauliflower. I came up with some root vegetables I had from a chicken soup I had made earlier in my trip.
The best part about soup is that you do very little work in the beginning and then heat does the rest. Once everything was soft I blitzed the soup and I felt it needed a little something extra. Remembering something similar my dad had made, I quickly sliced up some garlic and fried it in olive oil. The soup was a hit with me and my guest.
Back in South Africa I promised my parents that I would recreate it. It’s summer here so I wasn’t sure when it would happen until Cape Town was blessed with a winter storm in summer. Temperatures dropped, rain and sleet came tumbling down and the thought of soup fit just right. My mom had all the ingredients we needed and so the soup got made again, this time with a pop of colour from some purple cauliflower.
Cauliflower Soup with Garlic Olive oil
- For the soup:
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs butter leave out if wanting a dairy free option
- 1 Small onion chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and sliced
- 2 medium parsnips peeled and sliced
- 1/4 celeriac root peeled and chopped
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 liter stock I used chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the Garlic oil:
- 4 garlic cloves sliced finely
- 3 tbs olive oil
- Fry the onion in the olive oil and butter until it starts to become translucent.
- Add the root vegetables and fry for about a minute
- Throw in the cauliflower and stir until coated.
- Pour in the stock (if it’s not enough to cover, top up with water)
- Season with salt and pepper
- Bring the pot to the boil and then drop the head to a simmer and cover.
- Cook until the cauliflower is very soft
- Blitz the soup with either a stick blender or in a regular blender.
- Return to the heat and simmer to thicken.
- Taste to see if more seasoning is needed.
- in the meantime put the sliced garlic in a pan with the oil and fry until slightly browned.
- To serve, pour the soup into the bowl and then pop a few pieces of garlic in, sprinkle the oil to make a pretty pattern.