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Cauliflower, cheddar and ale soup
Recently I sat a friend’s kitchen bench and watched her make this soup. As she ladled it out into big bowls my mouth was watering with anticipation. It’s like the best cauliflower cheese you’ve ever had, in a soup form!
2 tbsp olive oil + extra for drizzling
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, sliced thinly
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
150ml pale ale
½ a large cauliflower, broken or chopped into florets
3 tablespoons of picked thyme leaves
150g cheddar, grated
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
½ tsp smoked paprika to serve
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion, leek and whole cloves of garlic and sauté until softened. Try not to get too much colour on them as it will brown your soup.
- Pour on stock and ale, add cauliflower and thyme leaves, cover and simmer until tender – about 20 minutes once it’s come up to heat. Blend with a hand-held blender until very smooth, add cream, cheddar and mustard, and stir until cheese melts. Season to taste. If it’s too thick at this stage add a little more stock to thin.
- Serve up in bowls, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with lemon zest, a pinch of paprika and a decent grind of black pepper.