I don’t usually go in for cream soups, though there’s actually very little cream in this one and it feeds a lot of people. Either way, this soup is delicious and that’s justification enough. It makes a wonderful starter for a celebration meal, or a cosy lunch after a bracing country walk.
Feeds 6 – 8
Knob of butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 large head of cauliflower (or two small heads), florets separated and stalk sliced
1 cup peeled and chopped potato
4 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ cup dry white wine
1L low-sodium chicken stock
¼ cup double cream
Salt and pepper
To serve: truffle oil and parmesan crisps (recipe below)
In a large pot, heat the butter and a lug of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped cauliflower, potato and garlic and cook for another 5 – 7 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften (but not brown).
Add the wine and let it cook away for a minute. Then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. With the lid on, simmer the soup until the vegetables are very tender (about 10 – 15 minutes). Add the milk, then use a stick blender to blend the soup until very smooth. Add the cream, then taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
To serve, drizzle over ¼ tsp of truffle oil in each bowl, using the end of a spoon to swirl the oil around a little bit. Pop a parmesan crisp in the centre of the bowl and serve.
To make the parmesan crisps, place piles of 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese on some parchment paper, leaving space between the piles to allow them to spread out. Press the piles out a little bit so you have a fairly flat pile, then bake at 400F / 200C / 180C Fan for 4 – 5 minutes. While still warm, pry the crisps off the parchment so they don’t get stuck. If you like, you can hang them off the handle of a wooden spoon to create a folded shape, but they’re lovely flat as well.