Buttered Cauliflower Soup
On damp, cold, rainy days we break out this buttered cauliflower soup to warm our souls. Whenever we put a pot on, not much ever leaves the kitchen as it is a staff favourite and requires extensive 'tasting' before we deem it fit for the dining room. You can spot it as a special on our menu from time to time and but most oftenly in bowls about the back of house nourishing our hungry team on a dreary day.
Pre-prep note: make the cauliflower pickles one day in advance for best results.
You will need:
0.5 pounds unsalted butter
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
4 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped including stems - don't waste them!
2.5 cups chicken stock, milk or water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a medium sized pot over medium-low heat.
Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are fragrant but not coloured.
Add the cauliflower and a pinch of salt and cook another 4-5 minutes without browning. Turn down the heat if you notice any colour on the veg.
Add liquid (stock, milk or water) and bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
Finish with maple syrup and season with salt and pepper.
Break out the blender for the final step. Be careful no to overfill your blender when processing anything hot. Pulse to combine to start before going full throttle. Blend until smooth, working in batches if necessary.
Perform a final seasoning check and adjust to your taste as needed.
Serve hot with with cauliflower mustard pickles and 1 tablespoon of brown butter for the full experience.
Cauliflower mustard pickles
This recipe will yield more than you need for the soup garnish but they are nice to have around. They are natural bedfellows for salads, sandwiches or antipasti. They will last up to a month in the fridge.
You will need:
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
0.25 cups dry mustard
2 tablespoons tumeric
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 cups chopped cauliflower, cut into small florets (use the stems for the soup!)
1 cup pearl onions, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons salt
Find yourself a container that can hold at least 2 litres of volume with a resealable lid. We recommend a glass jar if you have one handy.
Prepare cauliflower and onions. Toss with salt and add to your jar. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, get your pickling liquid ready by combining vinegar, water, sugar, dry mustard, turmeric, celery seeds and peppercorns in a pot. Bring liquid to a simmer.
Once cauliflower and onions have relaxed for 20 minutes, pour the hot pickling liquid on top. Place a cheese cloth on top with an elastic and allow to cool gently. Seal jar with a lid and refrigerate overnight before enjoying.