I make a lot of soup recipes this time of year and this roasted cauliflower apple soup is one of them. I am a big fan of roasting vegetables for whatever dish I happen to be making (these often include soups) which is why I used roasted cauliflower in this soup recipe. Cauliflower is the star of this recipe and I wanted it to retain some crunch and as much flavour as possible and the best way to ensure this was by pre-roasting it.
I didn’t puree this soup, either, and used a potato masher instead to break up the larger cauliflower pieces in order to better appreciate the nutty flavour and lightly crunchy texture of this wonderful vegetable. I think this soup is more interesting served this way. To make it a truly autumnal recipe I paired the cauliflower with sour Bramley apple (full of flavour and character!) and added cinnamon and nutmeg, commonly used in apple recipes. I recommend using plenty of pepper in this soup recipe, and if you want to spice it up a little more try adding about 1/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
I used ramekins to make individual portions mainly because I wanted to melt the cheese rather than just sprinkle it on top. I used a sweet, nutty and crumbly cheese variety but a stronger more intense flavour, such as Stilton or Blue cheese, would also work well in this recipe. I must say I quite like serving soup in smart little ramekins – makes for a nice light starter. I have to remember to do it more often in the future.
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Yields 6 portions
10 minPrep Time
28 minCook Time
38 minTotal Time
- 1 small cauliflower (about 600g)
- 1 bramley apple (or other sour variety)
- 1/2 celery stick, finely chopped
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
- Spice mix: 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, 1/3 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (plus more for seasoning the cauliflower) and plenty of pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Fresh parsley and toasted pine nuts for serving
- Cheese for crumbling on top (sweet and nutty or strong and tangy )
- 650 ml hot water (or a bit less if you like your soup very thick)
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. Chop the cauliflower into small pieces (half the large florets), place in a baking tray, sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, season, drizzle with oil and bake for 20 minutes.
- In a large pot heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the bay leaf, shallots and celery, and saute for a few minutes. Peel the apple, remove the core and chop roughly. Add the apple, cauliflower pieces, water, sugar, turmeric, 1 teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper to the soup mixture, stir, cover and simmer for 8 minutes.
- Mash the soup a little with a potato masher, adjust seasoning if necessary and ladle into ramekins. Top with cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 425 F/ 220 C/ gas mark 7.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly chopped parsley and lightly toasted pine nuts.