Or instead of serving this soup with bread on the side, Nigel Slater toasts two slices of dark rye bread, melts a little cheese on top, cuts the slices into triangles and floats them on top of the soup.
Serves 4 to 6
- 30 g butter
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 840 ml water
- 2 bay leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 200 ml crème fraîche or sour cream
- 1 heaped tablespoon grain mustard
- 100 g coarsely grated Gruyère or a strong, mature Cheddar
- finely chopped fresh chives, to garnish (optional)
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and fry over a low heat for about 10 minutes, until soft, but don’t let them colour.
In a separate pot, boil the cauliflower in the water for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender.
Add the bay leaves to the onion and garlic, then add the cauliflower and its cooking water.
Bring to the boil and add salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft.
Remove the pan from the heat, discard the bay leaves and allow the soup to cool slightly. Puree the soup in two batches in a blender (or use a hand-held immersion blender right in the pot).
Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir in the crème fraîche, grain mustard and grated cheese.
Bring the soup slowly back to a simmer and stir just until the cheese has melted, then ladle into individual bowls, garnish with chopped chives, if using, and serve.