It is freezing. Granted, it could be worse – we do not have six feet of snow outside our front door, but this cold has appeared so quickly and unexpectedly, I don’t feel in the slightest bit prepared. My warm knitted hats are all hiding in a basket somewhere, God only knows where, and I am seriously considering stringing my new gloves through the sleeves of my coat, a la toddler-hood, because I know they’ll be lost in about three days.
This weather makes me crave comfort food. Stews, casseroles, and soups. If you have pre-ordered Saving Grace online, you will hopefully already have received a free copy of my new cookbook, Happy Food. If not, I’m giving you a sneak preview of one of my recipes to keep you warm this cold weekend – Cauliflower Parmesan Soup
This soup was a happy mistake. It came from one of those nights where I didn’t seem to have anything in the fridge other than a head of cauliflower that was well on its way to becoming inedible, a packet of pancetta, and some stale Parmesan. I do always tend to have onions, garlic, carrots and cauliflower, and always stock in the pantry. When all else fails, I can always pull something together with the aforementioned and anything else I can find. This was that night, and the truffle oil added the most delicious twist. For a whole winter we ended up eating this almost every night.
Sauté pancetta until brown. Add onion, garlic and celery and cook until vegetables are soft — a little over five minutes. Add cauliflower, broth and cheese. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for around 20 minutes.
Purée soup with a hand-held blender, add half-and-half. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls, drizzle with truffle oil and sprinkle cheese on top.