Saturday, 10 October 2015

Cauliflower and rocket soup recipe

I visited my sister and her family in Sutton yesterday spending part of the
time admiring their garden which contains a great variety of fruit, vegetable and herb plants. I came away with a carrier bag full of rocket which is growing in a cold frame faster than they can eat it! I have had good results souping salad leaves before by simply boiling them up but thought I might try a new approach of simply wilting the rocket leaves towards the end of the preparation for this recipe.

As one of my ingredients was free and the others were dead cheap, I am adding this recipe to October's Credit Crunch Munch which is hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All.

Cauliflower and rocket soup 
Splash of rapeseed oil
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
2/3 of an average sized cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1/2 pint stock
1/4 pint milk
Good handful rocket leaves
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic, cooking them until softened and translucent. I used a red onion because I got a good price on a bagful at Hailsham Farmer's Market this morning. It didn't add a particularly red colour or flavour so I think white onion would work just as well.

Add the chopped cauliflower and stir to coat with the oniony oil. Add the stock, cover the pan and bring to the boil. I used chicken stock, but you could make this a completely vegetarian soup by using vegetable stock instead. When the stock boils, stir the soup and lower the heat. Recover the pan and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft. Obviously small cauliflower pieces will cook more quickly so you can reduce your energy consumption by chopping more finely at the start!

When the cauliflower is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the milk. We have an electric hob so it stayed hot for long enough to heat the milk through without boiling it. If you use gas, you might need to keep the heat on very low for this stage.

My rocket had quite sturdy stems so I tore the leaves off, ripping them into smallish pieces and discarded the stems. Gently stir the rocket leaves into the hot soup until they begin to wilt. Blend the soup with a hand blender until the rocket is shredded into tiny pieces that can still be seen as green flecks.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Cauliflower and rocket soup has quite a delicately flavour and I liked the peppery rocket flavour which gave a nice lift to the taste. The texture was very light and almost fluffy although the soup was quite thick. I hadn't tried souping rocket before, normally just using it for salads or in sandwiches, so am happy to have found a new way to eat the leaves. Dave scattered a little grated pseudo-parmesan cheese over the top of his soup.

In a quick aside, before I get to the Credit Crunch Munch bloghop itself, if

you are near to Ewell, London, during the week after next, my sister is involved with Sutton Theatre Company's production of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie from the 21st to the 24th October. It's at the Adrian Mann Theatre and tickets are on sale now!

"'Thoroughly Modern Millie' takes you back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when 'Moderns' were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce, and rewriting the rules of love. This high-spirited musical romp is a delightful valentine to the long-standing spirit of New York City and the people who seek to discover themselves there.
Set in New York City in 1922, 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' tells the story of young Millie Dillmount from Kansas who comes to New York in search of a new life for herself. She soon delights in her new flapper girl lifestyle, with a grand plan to find a job as a secretary for a wealthy man and then marry him! However, her plan goes completely awry. The owner of her dingy hotel kidnaps young girls to sell to the Far East; her wealthy boss is slow in proposing marriage; and the man she actually falls in love with doesn't have a dime to his name…or so he tells her."

Right, back to food!

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