Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Celery and Cauliflower Soup with Honey Glazed Walnut Croutons
The Flavour Thesaurus is fast becoming my favourite cookery book. When I looked in my fridge and saw half a head of celery and a cauliflower I was about as inspired as a fax machine. Feeling hungry and glum I flicked through Niki Segnit’s book and my mind itched with possibilities. Reading the book was like smoking a joint. It helped to connect disparate ideas. The last entry in the cauliflower section suggested an affinity with walnuts. Inspired by this I thought of Waldorf Salads and dived into the section that explains the affinity between walnuts and celery and got very excited when I saw that walnuts have a “magical” relationship with chicken stock.
So it all became very simple. I had no option. I had to make cauliflower and celery soup with a chicken stock base and walnut croutons.
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of celery chopped
1 finely chopped onion
1 clove of garlic
2 litres of chicken stock
4 small potatoes
Skinned and chopped walnuts
Saute the onion until beginning to soften in olive oil and butter. Add the celery and garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes. Then add the cauliflower and potatoes and fill the pan with chicken stock.
Simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Liquidise and season with salt and pepper and return to the pan to reduce to your desired consistency.
Whilst reducing, heat a frying pan and add the walnuts. Then when they are getting toasty spoon over some runny honey. The nuts should become sticky and crunchy.
Serve the soup with a dash of cream and a topping of walnut croutons. What it lacks in vivid colours it makes up for super savoury flavours. Without the sweet and crispy walnuts this would have been a shadow - they added texture, sweetness and a golden thread to marry the celery and cauliflower together.