an adventure into my cookbook collection: soul-searching, doing things differently & the truths I learn along the way...

deseeding pomegranates is feminine & erotic, unless you hit them with a wooden spoon...


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Cauliflower and Stilton Soup

Inspired by Claudie

I really love September. It is a time for renewal, and new intentions.

Rosh Hashanna (Jewish New Year) was a few weeks ago, and for the past three years I have celebrated, and participated with an incredible community called Grassroots Jews. Grassroots Jews is a temporary community that comes together for the High Holy days (Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement) to create an inclusive spiritual environment, focused around the ideals of inclusivity, participation and co-creation. Observing the days with the Grassroots community has also been the first time I have ever felt any real spiritual connection to this incredibly significant part of the Jewish year.

At Rosh Hashanna I always make some resolutions. They are more ‘intentions’ than ‘resolutions’, and I use them to give a bit of purpose to the year ahead – as opposed to the traditional sort of resolution that seems to exist only to be broken. For example, three years ago I set the intention of having more adventures and putting my creativity into the world – and that is how this blog was born.

Every year some of my intentions are profound, and some are more prosaic. This Rosh Hashanna my intentions included ‘keeping things simple’ and ‘eat more cauliflower’.

This soup is, obviously, born of both of those intentions. It is amazing how you can take so few ingredients and create something with such depth of flavour. It is rich and creamy; perfect comfort food for when the weather starts to get miserable. A bowl would probably be in a meal in itself, so serve small portions if you want to eat more food as well.

Serves 6-8 with a bit left over

1 large cauliflower, finely slice the stalk and separate the top into florets
1 large potato, diced (you don’t need to bother peeling it)
1 large onion, diced
1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
1 vegetable or chicken stock cube dissolved in 1 litre of hot water
Approx 75g blue Stilton, cut into little lumps (more or less according to your taste)
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and fry the onion until lightly browned. Add the diced potato, and fry for another 5 minutes or so until the onions are a little more caramelised and the potatoes have taken on a little colour too.

Add the sliced cauliflower stalks, stock, and a big pinch of salt, and bring to the boil and let it bubble for about 10 minutes.

Add the rest of the cauliflower, put a lid on the saucepan and bring it to a simmer – you can add another 250ml of hot water if you want the soup a little thinner – but don’t add much more than that.

Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes from when the cauliflower florets go in. When it is ready and the veggies are soft, blitz with an immersion blender. Add the Stilton, and blitz a little more. The soup should be really thick and creamy so make an effort to blitz out all the lumps. The cheese is salty so don’t add any more salt until it has been blended in – but make sure you taste and season once it has.

Goes very well with garlic-y croutons.

Here is a nice thing to do with your leftover Stilton: Butternut Squash, Sage and Hazelnut Risotto with Blue Cheese.

Inside the Grassroots Ohel (tent) - I was very impressed by their use of the pomegranate motif,  although I felt like I couldn't associate it with eroticism in the same way as normal pomegranates....

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