Julie’s adaptation from Nigel Slater’s recipe
onion 1, medium
celery 2 sticks
cauliflower 1, medium to large, broken into florets
bay leaves 2
double cream 200ml
grain mustard 1 heaped tbsp
dijon mustard 1/2 heaped tbsp
lemon juice 1 tbsp
Melt the butter in a large, deep pan over a low heat. Peel and roughly chop the onion and add to the butter. Roughly chop the celery and add to the onion. Leave them to soften, taking care that neither of them colour. Stirring regularly and partially covering with a lid will help them not to brown.
Boil the cauliflower in a litre of water till almost tender (about 8-10 minutes). Add the bay leaves to the onion then add the cauliflower and its cooking water. Bring to the boil and add sea salt and black pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are truly soft.
Remove the pan from the heat, discard the bay leaves and allow the soup to cool slightly. Purée the soup. Stir in the gruyere, cream and mustards. Finish with a little lemon juice to taste. Bring the soup slowly back to a simmer and serve.
Serve with fresh bread, toast croutons, or:
Butter-toasted Hazelnuts slightly crushed in mortar and pestle (from 101cookbooks.com)
3 cups unskinned hazelnuts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, fresh
zest of 1/2 orange
zest of one lemon
Place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 190 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the nuts become fragrant, their skins darken, and some skins begin to split a bit. Remove from the oven.
In a large frypan over medium-high heat warm the butter. You want the butter to get toasted and fragrant, this takes a minute or so. If you can see any of the little frothy-looking butter solids in the pan, they should start to turn golden. Stir in the salt, and now add the hazelnuts. Stir to get the nuts coasted in butter, and stir in the thyme – it might pop and hiss a bit – that’s o.k. Saute for about a minute and then finish with the orange and lemon zests, save a bit of the zest for garnish if you like. Remove the nuts from heat, and when they’ve cooled a bit, taste to see if you need to add more salt. Lightly crush and sprinkle on top of soup. Serve extra in bowl on table for those that enjoy a little more.