Winter is officially here in Australia now. I didn’t think we’d find it very cold after 6 years in London but its actually quite brisk in the mornings and evenings (and freezing! in the middle of the night when I’m up feeding little B), especially in the house that isn’t centrally heated as they all were in the UK! Still lovely to be able to sit in the sunshine and feel warm in the middle of the day though, certainly not complaining but the cooler weather has indeed prompted some slow simmering on the stove. Soups and stews it is for us at the moment.
This soup was a bit of a throw together, I mostly wanted to use the lovely cauliflower I had in the fridge. It was really easy to make, as most soups are and tasted delicious. Roasted cauliflower has such a sweet caramelized flavour which the leeks matched perfectly. Nothing like a warm soup on a cold evening.
1 med. head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 leeks, cleaned and sliced thinly
3 med. sized potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, finely diced
4-5 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
In a baking tray, combine the cut cauliflower, olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss around to ensure the cauliflower is coated in the oil and seasoning and roast at 190°C for 20-30 mins. Check after about 15 minutes and give a stir around. You want the cauliflower to be well roasted with little brown crunchy bits forming on the edges of the florets.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Saute the leeks and onion for about 10 minutes, allowing them to soften and sweeten. Add the potatoes and herbs and toss to combine. Continue to saute for another 5 minutes or so, season with salt and pepper and add 500 ml of water. Allow the water to come to the boil and then lower the heat and cover. The soup should simmer for around 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. By this time your cauliflower should be nicely golden and roasted. Add the roasted cauliflower to the saucepan and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until all vegetables are soft and tender.
I didn’t have any garlic left in the house but would have roasted some along with the cauliflower and added it to the soup also if I did!
Remove the soup mixture from the heat and blend to make a smooth puree like soup. I would suggest removing 1/2 a cup or so of the liquid before you blend so that you can adjust the texture of the soup as you blend. Better to be too thick and add more liquid than too watery.
I topped our soup with a drizzle of olive oil, some fried and crumbled bacon for a little salty crunch and some small roasted cauliflower flowers.. YUM!