This was always going to be a hard sell.
My boyfriend hates cauliflower and I have tried over the years to give it to him in various appealing disguises but with no success.
So cauliflower and parmesan soup wasn’t ever going to fill him with joy. Even if I really tried to pimp it up with a load of cheese and a glug of truffle oil.
To give him credit he got through about a third of a bowl before retiring to the fridge for some cheese and pickle. Ah well. I, on the other hand, thought it was pretty good and also pretty frugal – admittedly the truffle oil was a bit of an investment but it’ll last forever – and cauliflowers are less than £1 so it wasn’t bad at all.
Now I know this is a bit smug…but I actually save all my parmesan rinds and put them all in a plastic bag in the freezer for making stocks and soups. I know it’s a bit hateful and Martha Stewart-ish but it’s super-frugal because you’d just bin the rinds otherwise and they do add a really nice savoury-ness to home-made stock. And here, they add a deep, delicious cauliflower cheese-ness to the soup which, with the earthy truffle oil, makes a quite luxurious tasting, wintery broth.
Cauliflower and parmesan soup with truffle oil
2 pints of vegetable stock ( I made a quick stock with some water, a few peppercorns, a couple of bayleaves, 1 stick of celery, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic and a parmesan rind simmered for half an hour and then removing the vegetables & rind before use)
1 cauliflower broken into small pieces
A few heaped tablespoons of parmesan plus extra for sprinkling
Throw the cauliflower pieces into the stock and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the pieces are soft. Add a couple of tablespoons of parmesan and stir until melted. Use a stick blender to whizz up until smooth. Season well with lots of black pepper and serve with a drizzle of truffle oil and a sprinkle of parmesan. I thought it went very well with some seedy brown bread sliced thickly. My boyfriend didn’t.