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broccoli and cauliflower soup

August 7, 2009

“So, what’s your signature dish then?” It’s a question you get asked a lot as a foodblogger. That, and “What’s your favourite restaurant?” And, being the jack-of-all-trades / master-of-none that I am, I invariably find myself stumped. Even the question “What’s your favourite cuisine?” is a difficult one for me. Is it the warm, fragrant, gritty homeliness I love about Malaysian cuisine? The clean, subtle, exquisite nature of Japanese? The gutsy, vibrant, unapologetic food of the Italians? I really don’t know. But I have had to make my mind up and pick. A signature dish, that is (I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to pick an answer to the other two). And I think I’m ok with my choice.

broccoli and cauliflower soup alternate

Yes. It’s a soup. A broccoli and cauliflower soup, with a smattering of fragrant garlic infused olive oil and a hefty spoonful of garlic bagel crumbs to round it off. Or without, as you will. It’s not a cake. It’s not a tart. It’s not something technical or complex or even very impressive. But it is warm. And it is homely. It is something that can be made for now and kept for later – pulled out of the freezer and plopped into a saucepan when the house is dark and you are cold. It’s nutritious. It’s flavoursome. And it is one of the many reasons I’m here, writing this now.

Let me explain.

I can’t remember quite where it started. It might have been one of those raucous, rowdy nights we spent lounging around at his place, chasing each other round and round the table with pool cues and laughing until we couldn’t breathe. It might have been the sms I received, late one Summer evening: “I’m going to become a chef. Enrolled today. Start tomorrow.” It turned into talks of knife cuts and patissiere and using a broiler to cook a steak. And then, as two and two became four individuals, it turned into reconnaissance missions and random offerings after long shifts. “What is in this?” “Grand Marnier.” “Grand Marnier and rocket fuel?” “I’ll cut back on the Grand Marnier” “Yes. I think that’s for the best”. And then, one day, “Shez, you need to start a blog.”

So I did.

And, now (after much prodding), so has he. My mate Lex, he of the Chef-Lex-teaches-the-world-to-do-a-steak-properly. And, being Lex, he had to do it a little bit differently. Not content to stick his content up online, cross his fingers & hope for the best (a couple of comments, no crazy stalkers), he decided to hold a launch party proper. Food, wine, a library of cookbooks to flick through, the Food Network on tv and Guitar Hero World Tour downstairs. Oh, and each invitee had to bring a signature dish.

And these were the dishes:

honey & soy chicken marylands

honey & soy chicken marylands by FFichiban of here comes the food

japanese bento

japanese bento by Simon of the heart of food

maple smoked pork belly

maple smoked pork belly by Lex of vue de cuisinier

dulce de leche cookies

dulce de leche cookies by Steph of raspberri cupcakes

raspberry cupcakes

raspberry cupcakes by Steph of raspberri cupcakes

dulce le leche brownies

dulce le leche brownies by Suze of chocolatesuze

Wait!

You haven’t finished your story. I still don’t understand. You’re Shez, from onebitemore. You don’t bite soup. And you know what? This is the first soup I’ve ever heard of you making. Do you even make soup? Do you? Really?”

True, and true again. Apologies. I’ll finish. Rewind back to the beginning when the four made of was two and two. It was sometime, around then, that I held my very first dinner party. The dessert was made and it was good. Indeed, it was expected to be good, because desserts were what I was known for. But before dessert came dinner, and, funnily enough, the soup (this soup) was all anybody remembered eating that night. So I made it again. And again, and again every time I had a dinner party. Et voila. A signature dish.

So… what’s yours?

broccoli and cauliflower soup

broccoli & cauliflower soup
 
You can do this in one pot or two. The only difference is in the presentation. One way will give you a lovely pale green soup, the other will give you a two-colour soup. Both taste equally as good, so I'd be inclined to do the one pot version (which is what I'm writing the recipe for here).
Ingredients
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (approx 800g)
  • 1 large head of broccoli (approx 500g)
  • 250ml + 125ml chicken stock
  • 300g potatoes
  • 2tsp raw sugar
  • ½ a clove of garlic
  • 80ml olive oil
  • salt to taste
How to make it
  1. Prepare the veggies. By this, I mean peel your potatoes then chop them up. Chop your cauliflower & broccoli up into florets as well. And don't discard the big stalk in the middle either, peel the outer layer off the broccoli (you don't need to do this to the cauliflower) and hack it up into pieces.
  2. Put 3C (750ml) of water and 375ml of stock in a big ol' pot and get it boiling. Tip your sugar in as well. Once it is boiling, toss your cauliflower and broccoli stems in, bring the pot to a simmer and put the lid on. Let it simmer away for about 15 minutes, or until your cauliflower gives slightly when prodded with a butter knife.
  3. Now toss your broccoli florets in. We don't want to cook them for as long because they'll lose their lovely green colour and go yellow. Also, the flavour won't be as nice and almost-nutty. We want to cook it until it's just turned soft, so check it periodically with a butter knife in the same way as you did the cauliflower.
  4. Once it's done, take it off the heat and carefully ladle 375ml of stock out. Get your hand blender and blend until it is smooth (or carefully ladle it into a blender and blend in batches until it is smooth). You can add the stock back in here if you like, for a thinner soup, or leave it out and freeze it for use another day.
  5. Et voila! Your soup is done! Serve with a smattering of garlic oil and a big ol' spoonful of garlic bagel breadcrumbs on top for added guts.
Notes
Note1: to make it two-coloured, follow the above recipe but with the following liquid additions: 500ml water + 250ml stock for the cauliflower, 250ml water + 125ml stock +2tsp sugar for the broccoli.



Note2: to make garlic oil, peel and cut garlic into chunks (not too fine). Put it in a small saucepan with 80ml olive oil and heat gently for 10 minutes. You do not want the garlic to fry or to brown. Place a lid on and remove from heat. Let it sit until it cools and then bottle with garlic.



Note3: garlic bagel breadcrumbs are made by sticking garlic bagel crisps in a food processor until they resemble chunky breadcrumbs. Don't have garlic bagel crisps? Split some bagels, rub a piece of cut garlic all over the cut surface and grill the bagels first. Let them cool before sticking them in a food processor.

 


  • #1
    August 7th, 2009

    hot damn woman your pics are awesome! *envy*

  • #2
    August 7th, 2009

    I think you’re one of the few that actually had a signature dish before turning up to Lex’s place.

    Love the story behind the origins of the blog 🙂

    Some nice pics. The new camera is worked out real well for you.

  • #3
    August 7th, 2009

    Mmm that soup was so lovely, I have a weakness for brocolli and cauliflower and those garlic bagel breadcrumbs were awesomely crunchy! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the story behind it 🙂 Oh and it was awesome hanging out with you again, of course!

  • #4
    Darcie
    August 7th, 2009

    Oh Shez, that looks divine! I’m such a sucker for creamy cauliflower soup:)

    Love the idea of crushed garlic bagel crumbs!

  • #5
    August 7th, 2009

    You have a new camera too! Great pictures! I seldom make soup as none of the three of us like soup but your soup with garlic bagel breadcrumbs. Oh man… sounds delicious!

  • #6
    August 7th, 2009

    such deliciousness. would never have thought to make a broccoli and cauliflower soup. and wasn’t there cake? with layers? 🙂

  • #7
    August 7th, 2009

    Am loving your new camera work; I want one now too! Nothing beats good story telling and sexy photos haha. And nice soup too – I would put those breadcrumbs on *everything* haha

    props to Rasberricupcakes for the most orgasmic cookies I have ever tasted. And to the rest of the desserts mmm… where *is* the photo of your cake?

  • #8
    mc
    August 7th, 2009

    nice work shez…
    i should have crashed 😛

    all this makes me hungry!!! :O

  • #9
    August 7th, 2009

    Beautiful shoup! I like the two color tone!

  • #10
    August 7th, 2009

    Mmm soup was soo gooodd, thick like puree and garlicky but in a refreshing way ^^! Thanks again to Lex!! Definitely good timmmeesssssss XD

  • #11
    August 7th, 2009

    i read on chocolatesuze’s site ‘garlic bagel crumbs’ and thought i need to know more info! LOL where does one get their hands on this ‘garlic bagel crisp’ that sounds like music to my ears?!! have i been missing out on something amazing all this time?

    you think i could do it with more broccoli than cauliflower? i’m more of a broccoli person ;]

  • #12
    August 8th, 2009

    The soup sounds so delicious! Love the crumbs.

  • #13
    August 8th, 2009

    @chocolatesuze: Thanks miss!

    @Simon: When you get asked that many times, it’s worth a person’s while coming up with a solid answer 🙂 And thank you.

    @Steph: Very welcome! And always much fun to see you (and your cookies) too! 😀

    @Darcie: Y’know, I was never a fan of cauliflower til this soup. Crazy isn’t it?

    @Ellie: The breadcrumbs are a throwback to a soup I had at Lotus – they make the soup less of a soup and more of a meal.

    @Helen: Yes! There was! It’ll appear up here soon for perving-on. Promise 🙂

    @Lex: This hanging out with people who have good cameras thing is so dangerous for the budget. I see you’re already looking around… Oh, and the cake is coming. Soon.

    @mc: Thanks dude. You probably could have too – there were heaps of leftovers!

    @Anh: It’s so worth the extra pot-washing if you have the time. Green swirls and shiny oil dots make me happy 🙂

    @FFichiban: Haha! Thanks!

    @K: I sourced a box of them (with 8 bags in it!) from the Good Food & Wine Show, but I’ve seen them in most big supermarkets for about $3.50 a bag. You could definitely do more broccoli. The soup won’t be as thick, but it will work. (I’m more of a broccoli than cauliflower person too).

    @Y: Thank you! The crumbs make it gutsy. Like croutons, but without the added work of having to chew 🙂

  • #14
    August 11th, 2009

    Qooo interesting soup! Hope I could get to taste it sometime :)~~

  • #15
    August 13th, 2009

    […] doggy was a trick one that actually had a moving back and played sounds! Technology these dayyyss. Shez, Simon, Steph, Suze, Slex (S themed party :S?) and I then prepared for the important feasting […]

  • #16
    May 8th, 2014

    You’re a real deep thirnek. Thanks for sharing.

Shez