A recipe for a creamy, winter soup I developed for friends over at Daphnis&Chloe. Pears and cauliflower pair nicely with their tasty smoked chilli flakes and delicate thyme flowers.
4 + 4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 leek, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small ginger thumb, peeled and minced
1 small cauliflower head, broken in florets
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Smoked Chili flakes
1 tsp Thyme Flowers, crushed
750 ml vegetable broth
2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced
juice of 1 small lemon
1 tsp salt, some black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Place the cauliflower and leek in a large bowl, add 4 tbsp of olive oil and some salt, and toss with your hands until the vegetables are coated. Transfer to a baking sheet and in the oven for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are lightly charred. In a large pot, heat 4 tbsp olive oil and sauté the onion for a few minutes until translucent.
Add the garlic and ginger and sauté a little more. Add the turmeric, smoked chili, and thyme. Stir gently and cook for a couple of minutes until they release their fragrance. Add the cauliflower and leek and stir until the oil and spices have coated everything. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the diced pear and simmer for another 5 minutes, until all ingredients are tender.Transfer soup to a blender and mash until smooth and creamy. Return to the pot and add the lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground pepper.
To serve, top the soup with some broken seed crackers, some more pepper, some smoked chili flakes, and a drizzle of good olive oil.
Images by Anastasia Perahia.