June 22, 2011

Winter flavours - Cauliflower and fennel soup

Winter is a wonderful thing. I just love this time of the year, especially when we get those clear, brisk days when there is not a single cloud in the sky, but a cool wind reminding us that it really is winter. On days like this there is nothing better than wrapping cold hands around a warm cup of tea or a big bowl of soup and there are plenty of earthy vegetables in season for us to enjoy. 

This cauliflower and fennel soup is thick and velvety, just the way I like my soups. The aniseed flavour of fennel pairs lovely with the cauliflower and I've kept the seasoning simple to bring out the flavours of the vegetables. There is nothing fiddly about this soup -  just add all ingredients in a giant French oven and let simmer until tender. Then blend into a smooth soup and enjoy with crusty bread.  Perfect! 

Cauliflower and fennel soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic
1 sprig of rosemary
1 medium sized cauliflower, cut into florets
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 litre vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
(pinch of salt) 

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or French oven. Add the onion, garlic and rosemary and sauté for a few minutes.

2. Add in the cauliflower florets, fennel and vegetable stock and bring to boil. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all vegetables are fully tender. 

3. Purée the soup with in a blender and season with freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt if needed.