Cauliflower Leaf and White Bean Soup with Genovese Pesto
Although we should all be practising reducing our food waste, not letting anything go to waste is even more important now. This soup is easy to put together and the Pesto could be replaced by Zhoug, Chermoula or perhaps the Courgette Mezze. It is also pretty good when finished with a drizzle of White Truffle Olive Oil.
Leaves and stalk from 1 large cauliflower
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
2tbsp Early Harvest Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more to garnish if you wish
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
1 tin cannellini beans, liquid included
Double cream/yoghurt/crème fraîche to garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper, to season
- Heat an oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and wash, then chop the thick part of the stalk into small pieces. Place in a bowl with the garlic and Olive Oil, season with salt and pepper then toss to combine. Place on a baking tray, put in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the leaves are crisping at the edges.
- Boil a kettle and make up the chicken or veg stock to the instructions on the packet.
- Set up a blender (a food processor can work too but does not always achieve a completely smooth texture). Add the roasted cauliflower leaves, cutting them down if you need to help them fit. Add half of the stock then place the lid on – do not make it completely airtight (some have a piece that can be removed) as you need to allow hot air to escape to avoid an explosion.
- Turn the blender on, slowly at first then increase the speed. Add a little more stock if necessary but let the blender run for a minute or two to allow it to break down the stalks.
- Add the cannellini beans (including the liquid) and continue to blend. Add the rest of the stock as needed (you will need more or less, depending on how many leaves your cauliflower has). Add the Pesto, blitz again, then taste and add more salt and pepper if you think it is necessary.
- If you are serving straight away, you might need to put the soup in a pan and warm through, otherwise pour into a container and allow to cool before refrigerating.
- To serve, divide between bowls then drizzle with a little cream, yoghurt orcrème fraiche let down with a little milk.