Creamed Cauliflower Soup

Who needs bouquets when your loved one brings you cauliflower?!

Recently Big Man came home with one of his horticultural “surprises” for me.  Five cauliflowers!  We both love cauliflower, but after giving some away and eating cauliflower with vinaigrette, buttered cauliflower and cauliflower cheese, we were still looking at a cooked cauliflower in the fridge wondering what to do with it.

Inspired by a potato and garlic soup recipe over at Rufus´ Food and Spirits Guide, this cauliflower´s destiny was decided.  Of course, I was in a rush and didn´t have exactly the ingredients to hand, so I made do.

I loved the idea of the roasted garlic, but as I had nothing else to cook in the oven, it felt extravagant to turn the oven on just to roast one head of garlic.   I decided to experiment and try to cook it in the microwave to see how it turned out.  I usually use my microwave to store my bread in (a kind of electrical bread bin if you like!) so for me to actually cook something in my microwave is rather unusual…

I put a whole head of garlic in on medium for about 3 minutes and I was amazed when it was done.  Of course, there were no lovely toasty edges, but the garlic smelt great and each clove was perfectly soft and ready to pop out of its skin to use.

I put the cloves of garlic in a saucepan with a little olive oil and warmed them through whilst mashing them with the back of a spoon.  I added the cooked cauliflower broken into florets, a teaspoon of ground cumin seeds and covered with vegetable stock (although water would also be fine).  After bringing it to the boil I reduced the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

In the absence of cream I then added half a cup of milk and a tablespoon of mascarpone cheese and then blended with a stick blender.

A few left over rashers of bacon which I also cooked in the microwave – I was feeling adventurous – were cut into small pieces and sprinkled over to finish the dish off.  I put a kitchen towel on a plate, put the bacon on top and covered with another sheet of kitchen towel and cooked on high for 5 minutes.  This gave me beautifully dry, crisp bacon, and no greasy pan to wash.

Perfect!  And I now officially love my microwave.

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