Chilled Soup of Cauliflower, Romanesco broccoli and Chestnuts

Even though I am generally not a huge fan of cauliflower (unless there are 2 pounds of melted cheese on top), I have learnt to love this quite typical French soup for it’s lovely texture and subtle taste. You can serve it hot, but chilled it makes a delicious and refreshing starter on a hot summer’s day.

I use a combination of Romanesco broccoli and normal cauliflower, but it you can’t find the Romanesco then just use whole white cauliflower.

For 6 you will need:

  • 1/2 cauliflower (you can buy the florettes only, or I am quite happy with frozen too)- budget 500g
  • 1/2 Romanesco, a green cauliflower, with cone shaped flowers (if you buy a whole one, freeze half for next time)
  • 1 300 ml tub of single cream
  • 1 onion
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • a few frozen chestnuts (or you can replace them with blanched almonds)
  • some parsley leaves

Wash the cauliflowers and chop of the fleurettes (you can use quite a bit of the stems as it all gets liquidized anyway). Use a good size soup casserole and fry off the roughly chopped onion in some olive oil. Add the cauliflower and Romanesco fleurettes as well as the chestnuts with 750ml of water and a vegetable stock cube.

Boil for 30 minutes (and make sure you close the kitchen door as it’s a bit pongy). Liquidize everything with a blender or a hand liquidizer and make sure it’s really nice and smooth. Transfer back into the casserole and add the cream on a low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper –  it will need a lot of both. Then, depending on the day, chill it in the fridge or warm it up gently (don’t let it boil) before you plan to serve it. I tend to just serve it in a pretty glass with some chopped parsley on top, with a small piece of focaccia, or a crunchy slice of ciabatta.

Wishing you many warm summer days to enjoy this lovely dish!

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