Creamy cauliflower soup with stilton

Ingredients to serve 4

1 onion, diced
2 stalks blanched celery, peeled and chopped
250g cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tablespoons butter
500ml veal or chicken stock
250ml milk, reserve 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon cornflour
75g stilton, crumbled
125ml cream

For the crostini

1 ciabatta (Italian white loaf)
100ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
50g stilton
3 tablespoons crème fraîche

I find cauliflower to be such an undervalued vegetable – you really should start eating it more often. It is especially worthwhile in soup. It also easily purées. Serve topped with garlic crostini, on which a little stilton combined with crème fraîche is melted.

Fry the onion, celery and cauliflower on low heat in the butter until the celery and onion are soft (about 10 minutes). Add the stock and milk and simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat until the cauliflower is fully cooked. Purée the soup until smooth using a hand blender. Combine the cornflour with the reserved milk, add to the soup and briefly bring to the boil. Leave to cook for a few minutes, slightly thickening the soup. Turn down the heat, fold in the stilton and then the cream. Leave to simmer on a low heat until the cheese has melted. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, make the crostini: using a sharp knife, cut the bread into thin slices. Careful, the bread breaks easily. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Combine the oil and garlic and add generous amounts of salt and pepper. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, or in a saucepan, allowing the garlic to infuse the oil, and pour over bread slices. Carefully mix until all slices have absorbed some of the oil. Arrange the bread slices on an oven rack. Bake for a few minutes until light brown and remove from the oven to slightly cool.

Put the oven on the grill setting. Crumble the stilton and the crème fraîche. Stir thoroughly and place a tablespoon of mixture on each bread slice. Put briefly under the grill. Place one or two crostini with melted cheese on each bowl and serve immediately.

Taken from 'Home Made' by Yvette van Boven (Murdoch Books, £25).

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