What makes a soup festive and good enough for entertaining? For me, it isn’t how complicated the recipe is. It isn’t about how expensive the ingredients that went into it are either. Neither is it about how many ingredients were used. There are only two requirements, really.
First, the soup must taste absolutely great.
Second, it must look impressive.
Here is a cauliflower soup that uses minimal and inexpensive ingredients, is simple to prepare and yet, as served, it is such eye candy that it spells both festive and special.
If you’re planning on serving this cauliflower soup for a party, there are things that you can do ahead (as in, a few hours or up to a day ahead) so that the soup can be served freshly cooked but with no need for you to sweat it out in the kitchen after your guests have arrived.
- 1 kilogram cauliflower trimmed and cut into florets
- 1 kilogram starchy potatoes (rather than waxy), rinsed, scrubbed and diced (no need to peel)
- 12 to 15 cups bone broth (depending on how thick or thin you want your soup), preferably homemade
- fried shallots
- crisp garlic bits
- finely sliced scallions
- Put the potatoes and kilo of cauliflower in a pot. Pour in enough broth to cover. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender.
- If you’re doing this step just a couple of hours before serving, just leave the boiled vegetables covered and do the rest later.
- If you’re doing this step the day before, you can cool the boiled vegetables and keep it in the fridge.
About 15 minutes before serving time
- Reserve about a quarter of the cauliflower florets. Pour the rest of the boiled vegetables, with the cooking liquid, into the blender and puree until smooth. Do it in batches, if necessary.
- Pour the puree into a pot, add the reserved cauliflower florets, season with salt and pepper, then bring to the boil then simmer for about five minutes. This is the time to add in more broth if the soup looks too thick.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Make sure everyone gets some whole cauliflower florets. Garnish with sliced scallions, fried shallots and crisp garlic bits.