The idea for this came after we picked up a cauliflower at the Sunday farmers market after a gorgeous walk in the sunshine but had no clear idea what to do with it. We’re big soup fans so a soup was pretty quickly decided on but then we thought it needed a couple of toppings to really make it interesting! Fats once had a spiced cauliflower soup with toasted hazelnuts in a restaurant so we put them on the list and thought it would be a bit different if we kept the soup really simple and just had the spices in another topping – so a brown butter with plenty of spices was born! We’d never made cauliflower soup before, and certainly never made or had a topping like this, but it turned out so well – the soup was really velvety and creamy despite only having a dash of milk in it, and the toppings took it to the next level. Next time you’re craving some comfort food with a twist give this a try.
Ingredients for the soup – this made enough for about 3 portions but it would freeze really well:
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, most of the stalk discarded and chopped into florets
- Enough chicken stock to cover, around 500ml
- About 100ml of milk
For the toppings:
- 2 tbsp of chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp nigella (black onion) seeds
- 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
- Sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
To make the soup simply heat the oil in a large saucepan then add in the onions and turn the heat right down. Cook for a couple of minutes until they are a little translucent – do not allow them to colour as you want this to be a pale soup. Add in the potato and the cauliflower, stir to coat in the oil and then add the stock. Bubble away for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft, take off the heat, add the milk and then blend with a stick blender adding seasoning to taste. And that’s it! Pretty nice so far but you want to take it up a notch…
Using the frying pan you used to toast the hazelnuts toast the mustard seeds and nigella seeds together over a medium-low heat until they start popping and then put them to one side. Add the butter to the hot pan and let it bubble up and turn a beautiful brown colour which will further intensify the hazelnut flavour. Once this has happened tip in a small pinch of salt, the ground spices and the toasted seeds, swirl together for a second and serve right away, with the toasted hazelnuts, on top of the soup.
How easy was that? So delicious and a bit of a change from the usual.