Cauliflower and Cheese Soup

Many people say they don’t like cauliflower but even they should realize it is wonderful for soup. This is rich and warming, suitable for cold nights. If you can get them, sprinkle chopped fresh chives on to each bowl of soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 65 g/ oz butter
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried or bottled green peppercorns
  • 2 rounded tablespoons plain flour
  • 1.2 litres/2 pints full cream milk
  • 1 small to medium red pepper
  • 100 g/4 oz full-flavoured cheese, grated
  • 150 ml/¼ pint creamed smatana or soured cream
  • salt
  • black pepper

Method

Cut the cauliflower in half, pull off the florets and chop them roughly. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a fairly low heat and add the caraway seeds, cauliflower and green peppercorns. Stir to coat the cauliflower in butter, then stir in the flour, followed by the milk, a little at a time. Bring to the boil, still stirring, then cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, cut the pepper in half, discard the seeds and stem and chop the flesh finely into tiny cubes. Add the chopped pepper to the soup after 30 minutes and cook for another 10 minutes. Then add the cheese and stir until it melts into the soup. Remove from the heat, stir in the creamed smatana or soured cream and serve.