Available all year round cauliflower is at its best in the winter months. The florets are great used raw in a salad or as part of a cruditÃ© selection served with dips. But for a warm mid-week meal combine caulifower and potato for a hearty soup.
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 large baking potato, cut into chunks
900ml chicken stock, hot
2 medium cauliflowers,
divided into florets
142ml carton single cream
salt and pepper, to season
100g mature cheddar, grated
125g gruyère, grated
handful fresh flat-leaf parsley,
roughly chopped, to serve
1 Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add potato, stock and half of the cauliflower. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are very soft. Cool slightly.
2 Meanwhile, blanch remaining cauliflower in boiling salted water for about 6 minutes or until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain again.
3 Blend soup in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Add cream and season with salt and pepper. Gently reheat until hot but not boiling. Add blanched cauliflower and heat through.
4 Preheat grill to high. Ladle soup into 4 flameproof bowls. Mix cheddar and gruyère and sprinkle over soup. Stand bowls on a baking tray and grill for 2–3 minutes or until cheese has melted and is turning golden. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.