A favourite occupation of mine during cold and wet Sunday afternoons is to sit near a roaring wood fire and to play scrabble or bridge with some good friends. I find that a hot, home-made soup is ideal to serve my guests as I do not have to fuss with the recipe when I am playing. Everything can be made in advance and the soup can be served whenever it suits. This easy cauliflower soup is delicious, all you do is chop up the ingredients and pop them in a pot and simmer for a while. The addition of Herbes de Provence gives a fragrant, herby aroma to the soup. I like to add fried croutons and grated Cantal over the soup, this makes a filling and warm meal.
The wine I paired with this soup is from my new stock of French wines, a Chablis Village 2012 from the Domaine of William Fèvre. Chablis is made from chardonnay grapes and is one of the great Burgundian wines renowned for its inimitable minerality and freshness, which derives from the Kimmeridgian soil in which it grows. The winemaker, William Fèvre’s family have been in Chablis for over 250 years. They created their first Domaine wine in 1959 and are now respected traditional producers of iconic Chablis. Their vines are cultivated using organic methods and are all hand-picked. The Chablis is unwooded, it has a white gold colour, smells of fresh fruit, white flowers, citrus and has a wonderful minerality. It has lots of flavour and a lovely freshness and goes beautifully with the soup.
Ingredients for 4 guests:
- 200g Cantal from the French Market shop
- 1 tablespoon Herbes de provence “ “ “
- 1 large or 2 small cauliflowers
- 1 onion
- 2 potatoes
- 50g butter
- 250g minced bacon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil to fry croutons
- Old baguette sliced
- 1 Bottle of Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Villages 2012 from the French Market shop
- Wash the vegetables
- Peel and coarsely chop the onion and potatoes
- Remove outer leaves and stalk of cauliflower and chop into small chunks
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan
- Add the vegetables and stir in the hot butter for a few minutes
- Add the bacon and cook a couple of minutes breaking up the lumps.
- Add the Herbes de Provence
- Add about 1 litre of water until the vegetables are just covered
- Simmer for about 25 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool
- Blend until smooth with a kitchen stick or put in a blender
- Grate the Cantal cheese finely and place in a bowl
- Slice the baguette or bread into small chunks and fry in olive oil in a heavy based pan until golden
- Before serving heat up the soup in a heavy based saucepan, test for seasoning, add salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve the hot soup in bowls, topped with croutons and a generous spoonful of grated Cantal
I recommend pairing this lovely soup with a bottle of my Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Village 2012 from Burgundy