Spiced Cauliflower velouté

After a spate of parties (sprinkled amongst lots of work) recently, I’ve been craving vegetable soups. And not just any soups, either – the thick, silky vegetable veloutés that were so easy to come by when I was living in France. In particular, I’ve missed the ease of having pre-made vegetable purées frozen in small blocks – if only we had that in Australia!

 

In any case, my particular yearnings of late have tended towards broccoli and cauliflower. A quick google search led me to one particularly excellent recipe from Lorette (http://alatabledel.canalblog.com/): her Soupe de chou-fleur aux épices.

 

Since I’m quite a cauliflower fan and didn’t wish to tone the flavour down, I’ve made a few small changes (in both ingredients and method) while translating. For the real deal, please head over to the link above!

 

Spiced cauliflower soup

  • 1 cauliflower, crumbled for speedier cooking
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • several cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cream (optional)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 litre of vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • a sprinkle of paprika for final decoration (optional)

 

  1. Crumble the cauliflower into small florets, wash and cook in a large pot for 10 minutes in enough boiling water to cover (approx 1.5L).
  2. In a small saucepan, saute onions, garlic and ginger in olive oil. Then, on low heat, add turmeric, cumin and coriander and mix well.
  3. Add to garlic/onion/ginger/spice mix to the cauliflower, add 500ml vegetable stock, salt lightly (if desired, I find the stock salty enough) and bring to a boil. Simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Blend the soup in with a stick blender, add the cream (if desired) and blend again. OR add the cream in a swirl just before serving. Enjoy hot or cold.

 

 

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Porc aux lentilles

Phoenix’ family visited recently for a BBQ, and left most of a bottle of white wine. What else to do than cook up a lovely dish of porc aux lentilles, with guest stars mustard and white wine? For me, it reminds me of France, and the recipe I use is from Marmiton. A translation – with modifications – follows.

Ingredients:

  • 2 nice pork filets mignons
  • 125g diced bacon (or 1-2 rashers)
  • 3 French shallots (or one large brown onion, if relatively sweet)
  • 2 carrots (or 4 baby carrots)
  • 1 celery branch (or 3, if you’d like to up the vege content – I do!)
  • 1 leek
  • 4-6 button mushrooms (optional)
  • 400g lentils
  • 2 dessert spoons flour
  • 1 dessert spoon mustard
  • 400ml dry white wine
  • bouquet garni or stock cube

Directions:

  1. Finely chop the vegetables, keeping the shallots to one side. Brown the pork, bacon and shallots, cooking for 5-10 mins.
  2. Add the vegetables, white wine and herbs/stock. Cover and simmer for approximately 35 mins.
  3. Reserve the pork fillets, then drain the lentils and add them to the vegetable mix. Mix the flour, mustard, and a little water, and add it to the mix. Simmer, uncovered, to thicken.
  4. Slice the pork fillets and serve on a bed of the vegetables.