yes, soup can be a little boring. this one is NOT. pure decadence – the creaminess of the soup balances perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon, freshness of the kale and creme fraiche, and earthiness of the nuts.
i didnt serve any bread with this – its filling enough. i used the crispy bacon as “dipping sticks” and it was gorgeous. but if you do want the soup to go further, definitely serve with bread on the side.
i recommend taking your time roasting the cauliflower with a low temperature oven – it extracts more depth of flavour – but if you are in a rush, drive the oven up to 180deg… just know that a little flavour will be lost in the process.
serves 3 (without bread)
for the soup
1 head of cauliflower, cut into evenly sized florets
3 tblsp butter (melted)
2 tblsp oil (rapeseed or avocado)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (i use simon gault)
3/4 cup double cream (i use lewis road)
130 gm blue cheese (i use kapiti kahurangi)
1 tblsp sherry vinegar (or lemon juice)
streaky bacon, cooked til crispy (i bake the bacon in a 180deg oven, 10 mins on one side, 6-8 mins on the other side and the bacon comes out perfectly and evenly crispy)
roasted hazelnuts – roughly chopped
pre-heat oven to 100deg.
for the soup
toss the cauliflower florets in the melted butter, oil and salt. place on a baking tray and pour in half of the stock. place in the oven until soft. this takes approx 1.5-2hrs. turn the florets every now and again.
if you are in a rush, crank the heat up from 100 deg (you will just miss some of the intensity of flavour that comes with slow cooking).
when the cauliflower comes out the florets will be nicely caramelised (browned).
turn oven up to 180deg so that you can crisp up the kale.
transfer the cauliflower and the juices into a pot. add the remaining stock and the cream and using a stick blender, blitz the ingredients until smooth. if you dont have a stick blender, just use a full blender.
add the cheese to the soup and place back on the heat to combine and enable the cheese to melt.
if the consistency is too thick, add a little water. if too watery, simmer until it reduces until the desired consistency.
add the vinegar to taste.
wait til oven is pre heated til 180deg.
toss the leaves in oil & salt.
cook for 2 minutes on a baking tray in a 180deg oven. remove from the oven and move the leaves about a bit. put back into the oven for 2 minutes. remove and transfer to a paper towel or board until ready to serve.
place the soup in your serving bowl. place a spoonful of creme fraiche in the middle of the soup. top with the chopped hazelnuts, crispy kale, and serve with the crispy bacon (i used the crispy bacon as dipping sticks – so good!)