A bowl of enriching, steamy hot home-made soup is so good, especially when served with a bit of cold winter chill on the side :) This luscious cauliflower soup is one of my favourites and I have teamed it up here with crispy pancetta and melted Parmesan on ciabatta bread (great for dunking into the soup) - the saltiness of the ham and cheese counteracts perfectly with the sweet subtlety of the cauliflower. The soup is a recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller:
50ml olive oil, plus extra to serve
50g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large Desiree potato, finely chopped
1kg cauliflower, trimmed into small florets
7 cups chicken stock
100g Gruyère, grated (substitutes include: fontina, gouda, swiss, provolone)1 cup milk
For the Pancetta Crostini:
4 slices ciabatta
8 thin slices pancetta
½ cup grated Parmesan
Heat the oil and half the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and potato, and cover, stirring occasionally until the onion is tender (5-7 minutes). Add the cauliflower and stock, and simmer over a medium-high heat until the potato and cauliflower are very tender (20-25 minutes).
Purée with a stick blender, or in a jug blender, until smooth.
Return the soup to the stove and stir through the Gruyère, milk and remaining butter. Season to taste and keep warm.
For the crostini, grill the slices of bread until lightly toasted, sprinkle with half of the Parmesan, place 2 slices of pancetta on top of each slice of toast and then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place under the grill again until the pancetta is crispy and the cheese melted.
Ladle the cauliflower soup into bowls and serve, alongside the pancetta crostini, drizzled with olive oil.
Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Pancetta Crostini