17 September 2013


Did I mention that I like food? I guess I did, maybe once or twice (a month). Yes, well. It's one of the greatest pleasures of life, food is. And I enjoy it. Specifically, right now I'm enjoying soup.

I never used to be a big soup eater. I'm still not, really, although they're great fun to cook (you can be very creative with soups). But I have a few kinds of soups I really like, and one of my current favourites is Jamie Oliver's Cauliflower Cheese Soup. I got it from his book Jamie's Food Revolution (called Jamie's Ministry of Food in the original UK edition), a book I'd highly recommend for beginners and seasoned (haha) foodies alike. I'm not sure what it is about the combination of cauliflower and cheese, but it's just to die for (or rather to live for or on. It's really nutritious, as well as addictively delicious.). And just so your taste buds, too, can experience the bliss of cheesy-cauliflowery wonderfulness, here's the recipe - my version, but it's mostly the same as Jamie's.

2 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic (I leave those out, I can't eat garlic. But they'd be very tasty, I'm sure.)
8 cups cauliflower florets, or about 1 head of cauliflower
2 quarts (litres) chicken or vegetable broth (I use homemade chicken stock*)
salt and pepper
8 oz (250g) grated cheddar cheese (or whatever other kind you like)
1 tsp mustard
(Jamie also suggests nutmeg, which I don't like, so I don't put it in)

Chop the vegetables. Put a glug of oil into a big soup pot, turn on high, dump in the veg. Sauté the veg for ten minutes or so, until they're softish (the onions at least). Pour in the broth (Jamie says to boil the broth in another pot first, but I don't, I just put it in cold). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are really soft, about 30 minutes. Purée with an immersion blender. Add the mustard and grated cheese, stir until melted. SERRRRRVE. Makes enough for 6-8 people, or else it freezes and reheats very well. Also good in thermos containers in lunches and such.

*Oh, and just as a PS, here's how I make chicken stock:
take a chicken carcase or two or three (raw with a bit of meat on it still is best, but the bones from a roast chicken, even one of those rotisserie ones from the supermarket, work very well too). Put into a stock pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn down, simmer for a couple of hours or so. Strain out the bones, pick off the last bits of meat (they make great chicken salad), chuck out the bones, DONE. I pour the stock into old litre-sized yogurt containers and freeze it for future reference. It's THE best base for homemade soups of any kind. Note, I don't add any seasonings, not even salt, because I want to be free to play with the seasonings in the final recipe. Also, if you want to simmer the stock down to concentrate some more, the salt or other seasonings would become too strong, so it's better to just not put any in up front. If I wanted to make plain chicken soup from this, I'd simmer some seasonings along with the bones, say, an onion, a couple of carrots, some celery, and a leaf or two of lovage (a garden herb that tastes like Maggi, similar to celery leaves; it's a great soup seasoning).

There you have it: Life, the Universe, and Soup. Guten Appetit!


  1. You know one thing I do when I make stock - I read it in Nourishing Traditions - is add 1/2 c of vinegar - it's supposed to help dissolve the minerals out of the bones to make the stock more nutrient-dense. I use apple cider vinegar. Otherwise I do the same as you, but I do add salt and pepper in there and always still have to add a lot to the soup (maybe I like it salty?). I use lovage leaves too. Now that you mention it, I'm due to make more stock. I might try your cheese and cauliflower soup......