Cauliflower and broccoli soup – as you like it!

My latest soup really isn’t much of a looker, I know. It lacks the pizazz of some of its more glamorous contemporaries but I’ve chosen to focus on cauliflower and broccoli soup just now for a few reasons. This is a good, basic recipe that is really easy to adapt and modify to your own taste. It’s inexpensive – important after our festive season splurge and if you avoid the cream and cheese variations it’s a pretty healthy option. I’ve given you my core recipe then suggested some adaptations so you can play about with it and work out what’s best for you.

Cauliflower and broccoli soup

Serves 8 (at least)

Difficulty Ridiculously easy

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 heaped teaspoons of lazy garlic
  • Italian seasoning – try 1 teaspoon
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 750g cauliflower florets
  • 750g broccoli florets
  • Boiling water
  • 150ml of single cream (if you want)
  • Salt, pepper or other seasoning to taste

Method

  1. Make sure you use a BIG pan
  2. Add the onions, garlic, Italian seasoning and stock cubes to the pan and make sure they are all just covered in water.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer until the onions have softened and it all looks a bit gloopy. Add more water if it starts to dry out and burn – you definitely don’t want that!
  4. Add your potatoes, stir well so they are coated in the oniony mixture and simmer for a few minutes. (The potato will thicken the soup and create a more rounded texture. I use it instead of flour so my soup is ok for anyone avoiding gluten. If you’ve no potatoes in the house you can easily miss it out)
  5. Add your cauliflower, broccoli and bay leaf then top up with boiling water so all the contents of the pan are covered by a centimetre of water.
  6. Bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for approximately 20 minutes – just boil until your veg is soft when you poke it with a fork.
  7. Remove from the heat
  8. TAKE THE BAY LEAF OUT!
  9. Blitz with a hand blender or liquidise until smooth.
  10. Add the cream if you’re using it, stir though and serve.

You can see from the picture, that I opted for the basic recipe above. I didn’t add any cream other than the wee swirl on top and served with a good chunk of wholemeal bread and some cheese.

Some variations

You can easily adapt the recipe to be cauliflower soup or broccoli soup, just my missing out the other vegetable and doubling up on the option you’ve opted for. If I do that, I like to make the following tweaks:

Cauliflower soup

Add a handful or two of grated cheddar and some grated nutmeg. Add these after you’ve blitzed it – return to a low heat and stir until the cheese has melted. I go with a white cheddar just to keep the colour light and creamy. Make sure you don’t over do the nutmeg, it’s easy to make things too bitter. I use fresh nutmeg and add grate it seven times.

Broccoli soup

As above, but instead of cheddar, use a strong blue cheese. My preference is Lanark Blue, from Errington Cheese (http://www.erringtoncheese.co.uk/) but just use the one you like best. I wouldn’t go with two generous handfuls though, start with one small handful and add more if you want to.

Final note – I always go with the easy option of lazy garlic when I can, much quicker than prepping full garlic cloves. If you want to really minimise your prep time use frozen onions, broccoli and cauliflower straight from the pack.

Cheers

Val x

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