Join writer and editor Rosemary Gretton as she prepares this comforting Vegan soup.
1 head cauliflower, rinsed and cut into florets (remove any leaves and base)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into large cubes
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 head garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cups water and 1 package/cube vegetable bouillon)
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh or dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried chives
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Place the cauliflower florets and potatoes in a medium ovenproof pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with nutmeg and pepper; toss to coat. Roast the cauliflower, potatoes and in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown and tender. Place head of garlic in a small ovenproof pan or dish. Roast the garlic for 20-30 minutes. Remove cauliflower and potato mixture and roasted garlic from the oven and set aside to cool. (Alternatively, roast cauliflower and potatoes, seasoned as above, and head of garlic on a tray coated with oil or cooking spray in toaster oven set to 425 degrees F/230 degrees C. Vegetables may cook faster than in conventional oven so stir every 5 to 10 minutes and remove when golden brown. Set aside to cool.)
Heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. When garlic has cooled, peel off outer layer and chop coarsely. Garlic should be soft. Stir garlic and chives in with onions, cooking about 5 more minutes on low heat. (Note: Reserve 1/2 tsp. chives for garnish.)
Stir in the champagne vinegar. Add the roasted cauliflower and potatoes. Add vegetable stock, bay leaves and thyme (reserve ½ tsp. thyme for garnish).
Bring ingredients to a boil and let simmer over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Remove half of the soup mixture and puree in blender or food processor. Recombine with the rest of the soup and stir. Check for flavour and add pepper, nutmeg, and/or thyme as desired. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a few sprigs of thyme and chives.
Serve with a warm loaf of crusty French bread or baguette, cut into slices and white table wine or beverage of your choice. Note: This soup is suitable for a vegan diet.
ROSEMARY GRETTON·THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2015