Cauliflower Soup with Green Olive Tapenade…..
25 g butter
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
2 or 3 sprigs thyme
1 large cauliflower
1.4 litres chicken or vegetable stock
150 ml cream or milk
small bunch flat leaf parsley
100 g Gruyere
50 g green olive tapenade – Belazu
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the cauliflower from the stalk. Cut the cauliflower head into florets and chop the remaining stalk into ½ cm dice. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion, garlic and thyme sprigs and cook over a low heat until softened but not coloured. Add the cauliflower florets and stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Remove from heat and leave to cool a little. Hook out the thyme then blend the soup in batches until very smooth. Season well and pour back into the pan.
Bring a small pan of salted water to a boil, add the chopped cauliflower stalk and cook for a minute or two until tender. Drain, through a sieve and refresh with cold water. Drain again and set aside.
Coarsley grate the Gruyere and chop the parsley. Reheat the soup with the cream or milk, adding the blanched cauliflower stalk and parsley at the end and check the seasoning, ladle into bowls, stir in a spoonful of tapenade into each bowl of soup and scatter with a little grated Gruyere. Serve with the extra Gruyere on the side for people to help themselves.