Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Springtime cauliflower soup


This post is long overdue.. this soup actually won me a competition last year. It was the Swedish dairy producer Arla that had put up a recipe contest with set ingredients. They included cauliflower, chicken, cream, bacon and a number of other things, and as soon as I saw them I knew I wanted to make a light and delicious cauliflower soup with parmesan, bacon and sugar-fried cauliflower. Turned out the jury agreed with me - it was a great dish! (And I later found out I was the only contestant who opted to not use chicken!) My prize was a cookalong with Sigrid Bárany who won the first season of Sweden's Masterchef - a great fun-filled afternoon that I really ought to tell you more about sometime... But for now, make some soup!

Cauliflower Parmesan soup with Bacon
serves 4

1 large cauliflower, broken into florets (set aside a handful for the topping, see  below)
2 small potatoes, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp butter
100 ml white wine
800 ml chicken stock (or vegetable stock, by all means)
100 ml cream
100 ml grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
white pepper, salt

140 g bacon, diced

Sugar-fried cauliflower:
100 ml cauliflower florets, cut small
1-2 tbs butter
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Start by frying the onion and garlic in a heavy pot, on medium heat. They should become shiny and fragrant. Add the cauliflower and the potatoes. Add the wine and let it cook away. Add the chicken stock and cook until the veggies are soft - about 15-20 minutes. Use a stick blender to purée the soup. Add cream, parmesan and tarragon. Season with white pepper and some salt.

For the garnish: Fry the bacon until crispy, and drain on a paper towel. Melt the butter and heat until it becomes lightly brown and very fragrant. Fry the small cauliflower florets for about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and salt and caramelize for a minute.

Serve the soup with bacon and the caramelized cauliflower.