If you’re in need of some extra nurturing, there is nothing like a bowl of soothing, creamy soup to set you right – especially when teamed with crunchy, blue-cheese walnut toasts for dunking – bliss.
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
1.2 litres chicken stock
½ cup cream
½ cup milk
½ cup grated Parmesan
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons cream, extra
2 sprigs fresh thyme, extra
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Blue cheese toasts
1 French stick
250 grams soft blue cheese
1 cup walnuts, very roughly chopped
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion and season. Cook over a gentle heat for 10–12 minutes until the onion is soft but not coloured.
Add the garlic and thyme and cook for two minutes. Add the cauliflower and stock, cover and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a knife.
Add the cream, milk, Parmesan and nutmeg and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend in a food processor or with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Test for seasoning and if necessary add a little more salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Toasts: Slice the French stick on the diagonal into 1cm thick slices. Place on a flat baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until just crispy and lightly golden.
When ready to serve, spread the blue cheese on 12 slices and top with walnuts. Bake until golden and bubbling.
Serve the soup hot with a swirl of extra cream, some fresh thyme leaves and the hot toasts.