Well, that was a mighty weathery weekend! Wild winds, lashing rain and a chill in the air called for big jumpers, sturdy walking boots and a hearty soup to come home to. I served this cauliflower cheese soup with easy homemade breadsticks, warm from the oven and stoked up the woodburner in the kitchen.
This recipe makes more breadsticks than you, in theory, need. In practice I have found that the ‘extras’ vanish without trace at a really quite phenomenal speed.
Is there anything more comforting on a winter’s day than a warm soup packed with flavour? I’ve made cauliflower cheese soup many times before but I have always added a swirl of cream as an optional extra to be stirred in by anyone who fancied it. Adding greek yoghurt during cooking instead gave a creamy boost with a sharp yoghurty edge which went down very well indeed!
Cauliflower Cheese Soup and Homemade Breadsticks
For the Soup:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek , finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 500 g cauliflower , cut into florets
- 1 litre hot vegetable stock (I used Marigold Buoillon)
- 100 g cheddar cheese , grated
- 2 tbsp Greek Style Natural Yoghurt
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
For the Breadsticks:
- 450 g strong breadflour plus extra for dusting
- 1 x 7g sachet fast action yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 100 g Rachel's Greek Style natural low fat yoghurt
- 150 g water
You will also need:
- 3 baking trays
- Olive oil for greasing
- Cling film
To Make the Soup
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom saucepan
- Add the leek and garlic clove and fry until softened
- Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to the boil
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked
- Add the cheese and allow to melt
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the yoghurt, mustard salt and pepper to taste
- Allow the soup to cool slightly before transferring to a blender or food processor and blending until smooth or blend it in the pan with a stick blender
To Make the Breadsticks
- Preheat the oven 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7
- Dust 3 large baking trays with flour
- Put the flour, yeast and teaspoon of salt into a large bowl
- Using a jug weigh out the yoghurt and water, and warm slightly in a microwave until just tepid or hand hot. Alternatively, warm in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water
- Add enough of the yoghurt and water mixture to make a soft dough (I found I needed a little more liquid here so I just added a little more lukewarm water)
- Knead the dough well for 10 minutes on a lightly floured work surface
- Divide the dough into 36 equal portions and roll the portions into balls, then roll them out into long sausage shapes
- Place the breadsticks on the prepared baking trays and space them apart. Cover the breadsticks with oiled clingfilm making sure this is airtight. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the sticks have doubled in size
- Remove the clingfilm and bake the breadsticks for 10 -15 minutes or until golden brown
Serving soup up in mugs is always a good plan on a cold day – it warms the tummy and the hands at the same time – and bread straight from the oven is always going to be a hit! As an alternative, pour the soup into a flask, wrap the breadsticks up in a tea towel and head off for a bracing walk in the autumn sunshine secure in the knowledge that you can wrap your hands around a steaming mug of soup to warm you on the way!
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This post is dedicated to my very good friend Becky who asked me some time ago for a cauliflower cheese soup recipe -if you’d like me to dedicate a recipe to you do get in touch and I’ll see what I can do!