This is one of the easiest and most healthful soups you can make, and it’s a firm winter favourite round these parts. If you don’t like your food bursting with nutrition, you can always cover it up with some cream and fat. Here’s how to go about either version:
Cut a head of cauliflower (or two, depending on size) into florets. Cube a couple of potatoes. Boil the potato cubes in some chicken stock, steaming the cauliflower in the basket above (I’m big on kitchen efficiency). When the cauliflower is soft and the potato cubes cooked – about 8 minutes – dump the cauliflower into the stock with the potatoes. Add a big dessertspoonful of French mustard (grain mustard works best, but smooth Dijon will do) and a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Use a hand blender to blend to smoothness, though I like to leave a few chunks in for fibre and a more interesting texture. Before serving, add lots of freshly ground black pepper; the stock should mean no added salt is required, but it depends on your palate.
If you want to tart things up, add grated cheddar and some cream or creme fraiche to the hot soup upon serving. It’s fine without the embellishments, but they do take it to another, more delectable level.