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Creamy cauliflower soup
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1 large cauliflower
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
½ tsp ground cumin
1 litre Cooks’ Ingredients Vegetable Stock
75g Waitrose Cornish Quartz Cheddar Extra Mature cheese
2 tsp finely chopped thyme
2 tbsp crème fraîche, plus extra to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, reserving the core and cutting this into similar sized pieces. Scatter in a roasting tin and drizzle with 3 tbsp of the oil and a little salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, turning the cauliflower once or twice until turning pale golden.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion and celery for 5 minutes to soften. Reserve a couple of large spoonfuls of the cauliflower florets (enough for each serving to have a generous scattering) and add the remainder to the saucepan with the cumin and stock. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower is completely tender.
3. While cooking, make the cheese crisps. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Finely grate the cheese onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the thyme and mix together. Spread the cheese in a thin layer all over the baking sheet. It should be thin enough to just see the paper through the cheese. Cook under a moderate grill for 4-5 minutes until bubbling and turning pale golden. Leave to stand while finishing the soup.
4. Purée the soup in a liquidiser or blender. (Alternatively blend in the saucepan using an immersion blender.) Heat through with the crème fraîche and a little seasoning. Spoon into serving bowls and swirl with extra crème fraîche. Scatter with the cauliflower florets and flake the cheese crisps on top.
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