Cauliflower Chowder with Chorizo Crumbs

Recipe Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography Ashlee deCaires

Cauliflower produces a naturally creamy soup. To add texture I have roasted a few florets which also add a delicious nuttiness. The chowder is then topped with some crispy fried chorizo and cauliflower. If seafood is your thing, a couple of prawns sautéed in the chorizo pan fat would also go beautifully.

1½ heads of cauliflower
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
25g butter
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 medium potato (preferably a floury variety like Agria or Moonlight)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 chorizo sausages, finely chopped
fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Cut florets of the half cauliflower, reserving the stalks. Toss half the florets with the olive oil, cumin seeds (if using) and a big pinch of salt. Lay on an oven tray, then roast until golden (approx 15–20 minutes at 180°C).
Chop the remaining florets into smaller pieces – approx 5mm, then set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot, add the diced onion and celery and sauté until soft, but not browned.  Roughly chop the remaining cauliflower and stalks then add these and the garlic to the pot. Stir and cook for five minutes before adding the peeled and cubed potato, stock and bay leaf.  
Simmer uncovered until both the cauliflower and potato are soft. This will vary depending on the size you chopped the potato and cauliflower.
Remove the bay leaf and by either using a stick blender or carefully putting the chowder in a blender or food processor puree the chowder until smooth and creamy. Check and adjust the seasoning before stirring in the roasted cauliflower. Keep warm over a low heat while you make the chorizo crumbs.
In a heavy based frying pan heat the remaining olive oil. Add the finely chopped chorizo and cauliflower and sauté, stirring often, for 5–10 minutes or until the cauliflower and chorizo are golden brown.  
To serve, divide the chowder between 4–6 bowls and top each with chorizo crumbs and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

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