Friday, March 16, 2012

Soup D'Jour

If I had to pick a person I would most like to be like in the world it would be my Granny Vyvyan Grace. If anyone deserved the name Grace it was her. She was the kindest, hard working woman , full of fun and vigor, volunteering at Dorchester Abbey well into her late 80's. I have so many fond memories of her and how she shaped my childhood growing up in England. One of those trivial memories, but one that stuck with me is her soup making days. She always cooked on an Aga, which is a wonderful device, largely unknown of here in Canada, but a welcome and cozy addition to many British homes. My granny used to turn anything left over into soup. Roast beef, peas and carrots became a Beef with barley soup. Leftover veg and potatoes became a creamy carrot and potato soup. She would never have needed a "Green" recycling bin, because she never threw food out. Living through the war and rationing taught a cook how to use what they had and every scrap of it. 

I hope I have inherited some of her soup making skills and passion for home cooking and natural ingredients. This morning I threw together a big batch of cauliflower soup. Spring seems to have arrived here, so I thought a lovely vegetarian soup would be a nice healthy lunch over the weekend. I was gifted a box of Petite Baguettes, (a perfect gift for me) that I shall serve with my creamy soup. This soup has no dairy and is 100% vegetarian. If you want vegetarian soup, be careful because often vegetable soups have chicken or beef stock. Recipe Below. Enjoy your weekend. And your soup.

Cauliflower Soup
1 large cauliflower
1 litre Vegetable stock (save the water next time you cook broccoli, carrots or other veg)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste.

In large pot saute the chopped onion til soft. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Saute for 10 mins in the pan with the onion. (this part adds a richer flavor). Cover with vegetable stock and 2 cups water. Boil till cauliflower is very soft. Using an immersion blender or regular one, blend till smooth. Add a bit more water if needed to reach desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste. I season at the end because some stock is saltier than others. Serve with a generous sprinkle of grated sharp cheddar.


  1. Yummers! I put carrot in mine as well.

  2. That looks beautifully simple. Luckily, I happen to have a cauliflower.

  3. Healthy and easy. I will eat cauliflower this way or raw.

  4. Yum! I LOVE cauliflower! and I love that it involves no meat or dairy. I'm going to add this to my list of summer recipes...

    It's special that you learned so much from your grandmother...I did too and I treasure those lessons. xo

  5. This looks super healthy and delicious! And easy... I had a grandmother, Grace as well, my mother's mother, but didn't know her as she died when I was one. I've always loved the name and wish I had incorporated in my daughter's name when she was born. Your grandmother sounds like she was a survivor with a tough side when needed, but compassion and love at the right time too. Ann

  6. Oh that looks yummy. I feel the need to cook up a batch of soup...

  7. My favorite winter soup is lentil, vegetarian or otherwise. The other night we made a dinner of clam chowder (New England style to start, with diced carrots, sauted onions and extra potatoes!) and homemade bread. Soup is a GREAT meal - yours sounds wonderful.


  8. Mmm this sounds good! I don't make nearly enough soup...

  9. I don't think I have ever had cauliflower soup but it sounds like I would love it !
    My grandfather was a chef, he was famous for sauces and soups that just evolved from whatever was on hand. I try to make soups and sauces the same way .. one of my favorites is to bake an extra potato or two, saute onion in butter, pour in your broth, spices and then swish the potatoes in and when it is nice and blended, throw in some cheese .. whatever you like.
    Baked Potato soup :)


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