Recipe and Photography: Amber Bremner

Cauliflower isn’t typically a soup vegetable, but paired with walnuts it creates a beautifully creamy, earthy and satisfying soup. Give it a lift with a splash of sherry vinegar and a garlicky, mildly spicy and smoky crumb topping of fried cauliflower crumbs and walnut pieces.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 potato, peeled and diced
1kg cauliflower, roughly cut into florets
4 cups vegetable stock
100g walnuts (about 1 cup)
1 cup almond milk or milk of your choice
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp sherry vinegar (or substitute lemon juice)
salt and pepper to taste
finely chopped parsley to garnish

For the crumb topping:

2 tbsp olive oil
50g walnuts (about ½ cup), finely chopped
1 cup cauliflower crumbs (blitzed in a food processor or finely chopped)
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely grated
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a deep saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and beginning to colour. Add potato, cauliflower and vegetable stock. The stock probably won’t be quite enough to cover the cauliflower, but it’ll cook down as it softens. Season with a little salt and pepper before bringing to a simmer and cooking for about 10 minutes, or until potato and cauliflower are soft.

Once potato and cauliflower are soft, add walnuts, almond milk and cayenne pepper to the saucepan. Stir to combine, then remove from heat. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return pureed soup to the saucepan, taste to adjust for seasoning and stir through the sherry vinegar.

To make the crumb topping, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a fry pan. Add all remaining crumb ingredients and fry for 5‒10 minutes, stirring often. You want the crumb to be crispy, golden and deeply flavoured.

Serve soup topped with a generous spoonful of sizzling crumb topping and a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley.

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