Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cauliflower & Gruyere Soup {And Challenge Update}

This soup, courtesy of Ross Dobson and his book Kitchen Seasons, is rich, indulgent and utterly delicious – so good, that I thought it would be rude not to share it with you and I would hate to be considered rude! If you really want to get an idea of what this soup is like then think fondue meets cauliflower and cheese and you will get an idea of how amazing it is. The end result is a smooth, silky soup that is perfect for a cold night snuggled up by the fire. All you need to go with it is some nice crusty bread.

Serves 4-6 (book says 4, I got 6 easily)

2 tbsp butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 small cauliflower (about 1kg), cut into small pieces
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
250ml double/ whipping cream
200g gruyere cheese, grated (plus a little extra for serving)
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
sprinkling of fresh parsley, chopped

Heat the butter in a large pan until melted and bubbling. Add the onion and celery and cook for roughly 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to the boil then leave to gently boil for roughly 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is really soft and breaking up.

Leave to cool slightly then puree in a blender in batches until silky smooth. Return the soup to the heat and add the cream and cheese, then cook over a low heat, stirring, until the cheese has melted completely. Season with a little salt and pepper then taste and adjust as necessary. Serve hot in bowls sprinkled with some extra cheese and the parsley and enjoy with some crusty bread.


Week 1 of the Cookbook Challenge

As I reminder and to those of you that perhaps missed the original post, on October 1st I challenged myself to a full month of cooking using 10 cookbooks, with a minimum of 1 recipe per day (see here for the full challenge). Here is a quick recap of how my first week went....

Well I managed the first week without too many problems but to be honest this challenge is definitely a lot harder than I thought! I knew it wasn't going to be easy – the planning and scouring the books for recipes I wanted to try was and still is extremely time consuming and a little overwhelming to be honest, but the biggest obstacle I'm finding is that it's just too much food!! There are always left-overs which is great but slowly the fridge is getting more and more filled with Tupperware containers and we just can't keep up! Since part of the challenge was to keep it low in cost I'm going to have to cut back a little.... That being said I am still enjoying it – trying lots of new recipes and reading and re-reading a variety of cookbooks. Out of the 9 recipes I made in week 1, I haven't had any major disasters! Perhaps a couple of recipes that I might not make again, or if I do will have to adjust but really that's not bad going. My favourite recipes of the 9 are both soup recipes and both from the book Kitchen Seasons by Ross Dobson. I have also really enjoyed the recipes from The Meat Free Mondays Cookbook and will be cooking a third time from that book tonight. Here's hoping week 2 is another successful week!

The Tested Recipes:

Day 1:   Strawberry& Banana Smoothie {The Meat Free Mondays Cookbook} ( big thumbs up –   have already made again)

Lentil, Chickpea, Cheddar & Onion Burgers with Winter Coleslaw {The Meat Free Mondays Cookbook}( thumbs up – would make again)

Day 2:   Violet Morning Smoothie {Eat Yourself Thin Faster} ( thumbs up – will make again)

Day 3:   Quinoa & Roasted Tomato Salad {MFM}( as it is it's a miss, but it can definitely be adapted to make it tasty so I might do that. It tasted better on the second day so I haven't ruled it out completely!)

Cauliflower & Gruyere Soup {Kitchen Seasons} (good but even better the next day! It is rich and calorie laden so this is one I would keep for a special occasion. Think fondue meets soup! (See above for recipe.)

Day 4:    Raspberry-Oat Muffins {Pretty Delicious} (easy to make, good taste but bottoms stuck to the wrapper and texture was pretty chewy one cooled. I'm undecided if I will try them again.)

Day 5:    Carrot & Lentil Soup {Kitchen Seasons} ( fantastic! Tasted like the lentil soup my mum used to make and I could probably have eaten the entire pot! Loved it and will be making it all winter long!!)

Day 6:    Orange-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry on Brown Rice {Pretty Delicious} (really good and will definitely make again. Has quite a kick to it so miss out/cut down the amount of cayenne pepper if you don't want it spicy.)

Day 7:    Breakfast Burrito {Eat Yourself Thin Faster} ( A perfect start to the day and a slightly healthier option as well! I loved adding the chopped chillies to the scrambled eggs for a bit of a kick but it did mean I had to make a 2nd spice-free version for Wee One! I also added more turkey sausage than the recipe called for as ½ a sausage seemed ridiculous!! Anyway it was delicious and both hubby and I really enjoyed it! I will definitely make these again.)



  1. Yum, lovely soup recipe.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme. New theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

  2. Ha, as soon as I saw that Gruyere was in the ingredients, I thought "so rich and creamy!" I would LOVE to try this one!

    Taking on this kind of cooking challenge is admirable- you can send over some of those leftover containers to my house if you don't have room for any more ;)

  3. I love the combination of ingredients in this soup! I bet it was so delicious!

  4. This looks lovely. I adore cauliflower in all forms.

  5. I love cauliflower soup and I love this idea with gruyere. It looks stunning.

  6. Hi, it's Julie from Oranges and Almonds. This looks amazing - I love soup and I can't wait to try this! Great blog!

  7. What a fun challenge! I can see how the leftovers would add up but I love the idea of going through a collection of cookbooks and really testing them out.

    Soup looks like creamy creamy goodness

  8. Just wanted to say that we made this soup for our dinner last night and we all really, really liked it! Most amazingly, this got past my extraordinarily picky teenage son, who loathes cauliflower and wouldn't have touched it if I told him it was in there. He loves cheese, so I kept quiet and next thing I know he was clamoring for seconds. This will definitely go on our regular menu!

    1. Fantastic! I'm delighted to hear that!! Next time (if you can) try and keep some for the next day as I honestly felt it was better after a day! Thank you so much for letting me know : )

  9. Just wandering if there is a substitute for gruyere cheese. In South Africa it is really pricey.....

    1. Any nutty Swiss cheese would work well or failing that you could just go for a really nice mature Cheddar... Either way it will still taste great! I hope that helps :)


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