Curried cauliflower soup
This smooth, creamy cauliflower soup is a soothing and luxurious winter dish that can easily be jazzed up for guests.
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp mild curry powder
- 600g/1lb 5oz cauliflower, stalk removed, florets roughly chopped
- 500ml/17fl oz milk
- 500ml/17fl oz vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- pinch sea salt flakes
- 4 free-range eggs
- 2 slices white bread, cut into cubes
- freshly ground black pepper
- squeeze lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander or parsley leaves, to garnish
Heat 1 tablespoon of the rapeseed oil in a deep-sided sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until just softened. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a further minute, then add the cauliflower and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the milk and vegetable stock and bring the soup to the boil, then reduce the heat until the soup is simmering and simmer gently for 12-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower florets are just tender.
Meanwhile, poach the eggs. Prepare a bowl of iced water. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the vinegar and a pinch of salt, then reduce the heat until the water is just simmering.
Crack 1 of the eggs into a small bowl. Whisk the water to create a whirlpool, then drop the egg into the vortex. Simmer for 1-1½ minutes, then carefully lift the poached egg out of the pan and transfer to the iced water.
Repeat the poaching process with the remaining eggs. Keep the eggs chilled in the fridge, in the water, until needed.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the rapeseed oil in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the bread cubes on all sides until golden-brown all over, then set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Set aside.
When the soup is ready, set aside to cool slightly, then blend to a smooth purée using a food processor or hand-held blender. Return the soup to the saucepan, season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
When ready to serve, bring a pan of water to the boil, then remove it from the heat and gently lower the poached eggs into the water all at once to reheat for 30-60 seconds, or until hot throughout.
Serve the soup in bowls and garnish each portion with a poached egg, a scattering of croûtons and herbs, and a drizzle of the remaining rapeseed oil.
The poached eggs can be kept in the fridge for up to 48 hours until ready to use.