A creamy cauliflower soup makes a great winter warmer and the addition of a few Indian spices gives it a real kick, too. You can add your own favourite curry spices to this or simply use a good curry powder.
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
The white of 1 medium leek, roughly chopped and washed
2-3 good knobs of butter
1 small- to medium-sized cauliflower, roughly chopped, with the dark outer leaves and stems
1ltr vegetable stock (a good cube will do)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
For the curry cream
½tbsp vegetable or corn oil
1 large shallot, peeled, halved and finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
½tsp ground cumin>
½tsp cumin seeds
½tsp ground fenugreek
½tsp black mustard seeds
2tbsp crème fraîche or yoghurt
Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and with the lid on gently cook the onion and leek, without colouring, for 2-3 minutes, until they are soft. Add the cauliflower, stock and milk.
Season, bring to the boil and simmer for 35 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft. Blend in a liquidiser until smooth and strain through a fine-meshed sieve; season again if necessary.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and cook the shallot and spices on a very low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring every so often so they don't burn. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
Once cool, stir in the yoghurt or crème fraîche.
Serve the soup in warm bowls with the curry cream spooned on top.