The first time I ever tried Cauliflower Cheese Soup was in 2003. We had a long weekend in Kristiansand in Norway. It was December and the Christmas lights made the city twinkle at night, the snow was piled high in the streets and it was cold, bitterly, bitterly cold.
We’d venture out and dash in and out of shops, sit drinking steaming cups of coffee in cafes and we’d eat at night in the bistro downstairs from the hotel. Hubs was determined to sample as many Norwegian delicacies as he could, reindeer was a favourite. I am veggie and there wasn’t much choice for me, so I lived on Blomkålsuppe, a Norwegian cauliflower soup. I loved it and I’ve lusted after it ever since.
Now autumn is here my soup making pot is starting to see some serious action. Cauliflowers are cheap and plentiful in the shops, so I decided to try and recreate my favourite soup in the world, but with a cheesy twist that my son would approve of. This morning I made some very delicious Norwegian inspired Cauliflower Cheese Soup.
I decided to use the Extra Mature Cheddar in my soup – it had a lovely subtle tang which I knew would compliment my soup nicely. Cheddar is a perfectly versatile cheese, it melts beautifully and we use it almost as a seasoning.
This Cauliflower Cheese Soup really is very simple, incredibly hearty and exactly like a lovely comforting hug in a bowl. Serve with warm crusty bread, or if you’re feeling especially Scandinavian try it with rye bread.
Cauliflower Cheese Soup
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon butter
A tbsp olive oil
900g cauliflower florets – fresh or frozen
300mls hot vegetable stock
100g Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese
Salt, pepper, ground chilli flakes
Gently fry your onion in the butter and olive oil until it’s soft.
Add your cauliflower florets to the pan and stir. Pour in the hot vegetable stock and 300mls of the milk. Add a little salt, pepper and ground chilli flakes, then put the lid on the pan and simmer until the cauliflower is tender.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool for ten minutes. Using a blender (I used a stick blender), blend the soup until smooth. I added the remaining 100mls of milk at this stage as my soup was too thick. If your soup needs loosening up add some extra milk.
Stir in most of your grated cheese and stir until it has melted through. Taste the soup, you can always add more cheese if you think it needs it. Add any extra salt, pepper and ground chilli flakes if you think it needs additional seasoning.
To serve, spoon into bowls and sprinkle a little extra cheese on top. Serve with warm crusty bread.
If you’d like to garnish your soup with caramelised cauliflower like I have, remove a cooked floret from the pan before you blend the soup and pat dry.
Thinly cut it into slices and gently fry with some butter until golden brown. Gently lay it on top of the soup and serve. Delicious!
You could even use frozen cauliflower for your soup. Just defrost it thoroughly first and you’d never know once it was blended up. It’s frugal too.
Cauliflower cheese soup is the ultimate comfort food. What comfort food dishes will be warming your cockles this autumn?