Cauliflower and bacon soup with cheesy mustard croutons

September 21, 2013 at 9:53 pm (Recipes)

Cauliflower has a wonderful, light sweetness that makes a great base for a range of hearty dishes that are healthy and low-cost as well as delicious.  One of my favourite ways to use this vegetable is in a thick, warming soup.  A humble home-cook take on cream of cauliflower, I typically use milk instead of cream, but add potato to give it a lovely, silky texture.  Bacon infuses the soup with a smoky, savouriness and more-ish cheese and mustard croutons are perfect for dunking whilst adding a bit of a kick.

Cauliflower soup with cheesy croutons

Ingredients (serves 4)

Soup

  • 1 large cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
  • 2 dutch cream potatoes, peeled and cut into a 2cm dice
  • 1 large brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 rashers smoky bacon, chopped
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Croutons

  • 8 slices baguette bread
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup grated melting cheese (my pick is gruyere)

Method

  1. Fry the bacon pieces in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until well browned and the fat rendered.  Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf to the pan and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, adding a bit of olive oil as required to stop the onion and garlic from sticking to the pan and burning.
  2. Add the cauliflower, potato, chicken stock and milk to the saucepan, increase the heat to medium-high to bring to the boil, then cook for 30 mins or until the vegetables are breaking apart.  Remove from the heat and puree with  a stick blender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and return to the stove over low heat to keep warm.
  3. Spread each slice of bread with mustard and arrange on a baking tray.  Top each slice with grated cheese and place under the grill until the edges of the croutons are nicely browned and the cheese bubbling.
  4. Divide the soup between 4 bowls and top each with 2 of the cheesy croutons to serve.

 

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