Cauliflower Cheese Soup
This cauliflower cheese soup really is the food of the gods. It’s the mix of really strong cheddar and manchego that does it – that combination of cheeses is just the best for me. Recipe by Dominic Franks.
I think it’s the nuttiness of the cheddar and the slight tang of the manchego that makes for the perfect combination. It reminds me of Mum’s Sunday roast. She would always make cauliflower cheese as a side dish and it always had crunchy breadcrumbs sprinkled on top. Really creamy and really cheesy, my brother and I would fight over who got the last roasty, sticky, cheesy bit stuck to the side of the dish.
• Put the onion, celery, garlic, butter and olive oil into a large saucepan set over a low-medium heat. Gently cook the vegetables for 7-8 minutes until tender but not coloured.
• Add the cauliflower, potato, milk and vegetable stock. Season with the fresh thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir well, half cover the pan with a lid and slowly bring to a gentle simmer.
• Continue to cook for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
• Whizz the soup until silky smooth, then stir in the grated cheese and mustard. Taste and add more seasoning as required.
• To make the cheesy croutons, pre-heat the oven to 160°C fan.
• Tear the bread into rough chunks and tip onto a small baking tray. Drizzle well with olive oil, then sprinkle with the garlic granules and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and shimmy them around to ensure they’re fully coated.
• Pop into the oven and cook the croutons for about 7 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp – shimmy them around halfway through. Scatter the cheese over the top of the croutons and return the tray to the oven for a few minutes more to melt the cheese.