Cauliflower Blue Cheese Soup with Caramelised Walnut Topping

The words ‘cauliflower’ and ‘sophisticated’ don’t usually feature in the same sentence, but this dish turns the concept on its head. A smooth and tangy Cauliflower Blue Cheese Soup is topped with crunchy home-made caramalised walnuts and fresh parsley for a sumptuous winter meal. Serve with a generous chunk of crusty bread to chase those winter chills away.


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: moderate


Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, cleaned and finely chopped (white part only)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 cups chicken stock
100g blue cheese, crumbled
100ml cream

Topping

1 tbsp butter
1 cup walnuts
¼ cup white sugar


Method

  1. Heat butter in a large heavy based saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic and leek in butter until translucent.
  2. Add cauliflower florets and the stock. Cover and bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Add the butter, walnuts and sugar and cook stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Once sugar starts melting, stir constantly until all the sugar is melted and the walnuts are coated.  Immediately transfer walnuts to a clean sheet of baking paper and separate using tongs or spatulas. Leave 5-7 minutes to allow caramel to harden.
  4. Once the cauliflower is tender, remove saucepan from heat. Use a stick blender to blend soup in batches until smooth.
  5. Return soup to low heat and stir in blue cheese and cream. Cook, stirring for a further 2-3 minutes until heated through.

Serving suggestion

  • Serve topped with a tablespoon of walnuts and parsley, with a generous chunk of crusty bread.
  • Leftover caramelised walnuts can be added to salad, icecream or simply enjoyed as is.