Sunday, 6 May 2012

Cauliflower, Leek and Crispy Bacon Soup

Looking for a creamy soup without using any dairy at all?  Here is the answer!  Cauliflowers are incredibly nutritious and tasty and add some leek and some crispy bacon and you have a little piece of cold weather heaven!  

Spend the few extra dollars on some quality chicken stock or if you're feeling keen in the kitchen make some chicken stock yourself.  

You will need a blender or stick blender for this soup.  This makes approximately 3 litres of soup.  

What you will need:

  • 1 whole cauliflower, cut up - including the stalk (when you are at the store look for a cauliflower that is tightly bunched up)
  • 3 stalks of celery - sliced finely
  • 3 small leaks, or 2 big leaks - sliced finely
  • 3 cloves of garlic - crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 springs of thyme
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 500ml water
  • 300g bacon
  • 1 tbs olive oil
Firstly, you want to prepare all the vegetables for the soup.  So chop up the cauliflower, celery, leeks and crush the garlic.  

In a heavy based big saucepan/pot (at least 4 litres) heat the olive oil and add the leeks.  Heat the leeks through stirring occasionally until the leeks are slightly transparent.  This should take between 3-5 minutes.  Add the crushed garlic and stir through for another 2 minutes.  Add the celery, stir through and cool for another 3 minutes.  

Now add the cauliflower (chopped), the stock, water, bay leaves and sprigs of thyme.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes let the soup cool and this is the perfect time to crisp up the bacon.  Bake the bacon in a hot oven, around 220 degrees celsius for 15 minutes or until it's crispy.  Once it's crispy (but not burnt!) take it our of the oven, turn onto some paper towel to soak up some of the bacon fat.  Transfer the bacon to a chopping board and chop finely.  

Now that the soup is cool, remove the bay leaves and springs of thyme and blend in batches or blend with a stick mixer.  You will need to pour this back into the pot and reheat to bring it all back together.  If the consistency is a little thick add some more water.  

The last step is to add the bacon to the soup, stir and then serve!  Here's hoping that you fall in love with this soup as much as I have!  xx

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