Roast Cauli Soup with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Roast Cauli Soup with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Roast Cauli Soup with Bacon & Blue Cheese

OK so full disclosure… My Irishman wasn’t a huge fan of this soup. He actually thought the blue cheese ruined it.

However I really loved it.

I could see that the strong Stilton I used was pretty full on. And not for everyone.

So I had better warn you…

Unless you’re a massive blue cheese fan like me, you’d best either use a mild creamy blue (like blue castillo or a creamy gorgonzola) or replace with parmesan. Parmesan and bacon are always excellent friends.

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes

1 head cauliflower (about 900g / 1lb), chopped into bite sized florettes.
1 onion, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2 moons
4-6 sliced bacon, chopped
2.5 cups chicken or veg stock
handful crumbled blue cheese or shaved parmsan

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F) while you chop the cauli and onion. Place veg on a large rimmed baking sheet (the less crowded they are the quicker they’ll cook). Toss with a little oil, season generously with salt and pop in the oven. Set your timer for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile cook bacon in a medium saucepan with a little oil on a medium high heat until bacon is well browned and starting to crisp up. Remove bacon from the pan and place on paper towel. Add stock to the pot and bring to a simmer.

3. When the timer is up, stir the cauli and onion and roast for another 5-10 minutes or until cauli is tender and starting to brown.

4. Tip the cooked cauli and onion into the stock and bring back to a simmer. Remove from the heat and puree with a stick blender. Make it as smooth or chunky as you like. Taste and season with salt, remembering the bacon and cheese will add extra salt. And if it’s too thick, add a little water to adjust the texture.

5. Divide between two soup bowls and top with crispy bacon and cheese.

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WINE MATCH: A buttery Chardonnay or a gutsy Cabernet. If you’re in Australia try to get a Margaret River or Coonawarra Cab..

Variations & Substitutions

short on time – Skip the roasting and simmer the onion and cauli in the stock, covered until they’re tender. About 15 minutes. Cook bacon in a separate pan while the cauli is simmering. Dont forget to tip the bacon fat in with the soup before pureeing – it adds a lovely smoky flavour to the base soup.

vegetarian – replace bacon with extra cheese, smoked almonds, smoked tofu, sund dried tomatoes or roast red peppers.

dairy-free – replace cheese with extra bacon.

different veg – these flavours are amazing with butternut, pumpkin, sweet potato, swede (rutabaga) or turnip. Potato will work as well – just be careful of pureeing that you don’t end up with a gluey mess.

more substantial (carb lovers) – crusty bread and butter.

more substantial (low carb) – extra bacon, extra cheese or serve with roasted walnuts or almonds as well. Or stir in some salted butter into the soup.

no bacon – see vegetarian options or replace with ham or chorizo.

no stock – you could use water or replace with water and a few tablespoons concentrated tomato paste to give richness and intensity.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

cauli – will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks. To keep for longer, chop into florettes and pop in the freezer. If you have time, grating the cauli before freezing will make life easier so you can just defrost and serve.

onion – will keep in the pantry for months. Best if in a dark corner in a brown paper bag.

bacon – freeze it.

chicken or veg stock – keep it in the pantry.

blue cheese – pre-paackaged goats cheese can have a shelf life of months. If your packet is opened, though, best to freeze.

parmesan – wrap in waxed paper or baking paper and store in the fridge in a sealed paper bag or airtight container. Will keep for months. Can be frozen if you’re going away.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the bacon and blue cheese separately. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, bring soup back to a simmer and top with bacon and cheese.

Roast Cauli Soup with Bacon & Blue Cheese-2

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