Creamy Cauilflower Soup with Pesto Calabrese and tear & share soda bread

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with no cream, potatoes or butter

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with no cream, potatoes or butter

Creamy without the need to add cream or butter, or even potatoes, cauliflower manages to produce the same creaminess at only 25 calories per 100g. I used my new crockpot again to make this soup. I find it so convenient to allow it to just cook slowly while I am out and return to a healthy meal.

For the low fat creamy cauliflower soup you will need:
4 small cloves or 2 giant ones, peeled and crushed
1 cauliflower, trimmed and remove core
1/2 a white onion
4 cups water and all natural vegetable cube
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
parsley to garnish

Chop the cauliflower into chunks. Place in the crockpot with the garlic, add the olive oil and vegetable stock. Season with salt and turn on the slow cooker. It requires 4 hours on a slow temperature.

Allow to cool and blend. If it is too thick add some water.
Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

For the Pesto Calabrese you will need:
I make a large batch and use it for a pasta dish the next day.

100ml olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
sea salt
2 red bell peppers, seeds removed, cut into chunks
2-3 fresh chili peppers, depending how spicy you like it, seeds remove and chopped
150 g ricotta
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and choppped
2 small red chillies, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled (optional)
150g parmesan, grated
3 basil leaves, just for flavor, I like to retain an orange/red colour

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil, add the onion and sauté until the onion is soft.

Add the bell peppers, and cook for 10 minutes until everything is soft. Turn off the heat, taste and season.

Allow to cool, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until very smooth and creamy. If necessary add more water. Refrigerate until you need to use it.

For the tear and share soda bread you will need:

Tear and Share Soda Bread

Tear and Share Soda Bread

A little olive oil, for greasing
500g self raising flour
1 tablespoon semolina
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 rounded teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 spoons parmesan
Pinch of dried crushed chili seeds
Pinch of dried basil
250 ml yoghurt
a glass of cold water
some sesame seeds to sprinkle on top

I used a 23 cm springforn cake tin

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Brush the cake tin with the olive oil.

Sieve the flour. Mix the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. Add the parmesan, chili flakes and dried basil.

Pour the yoghurt into the flour mixture and gently fold it in. Do not rub in. Add water as necessary until it forms a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Place the semolina in your hands to prevent a lot of stickiness. Shape even balls and fill up the cake tin. Brush the surface with olive oil and scatter the sesame seeds on top.

Tear and Share Soda Bread

Tear and Share Soda Bread

Bake for 15 minutes, check them out and lower the temperature and carry on cooking for a bit longer if necessary.

Reheat the soup and pour into individual soup bowls. Add a teaspoon of Calabrian Pesto to each soup bowl then take a skewer and swirl it around. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with tear and share soda bread rolls.

Carob and dandelion fairies, close your eyes and make a wish #Malta  [photo Ian Noel Pace]

Close your eyes and make a wish #Malta [photo Ian Noel Pace]