On Fridays I clear out my fridge. Sometimes it is a boring routine and on other occasions I discover foods that need to be cooked or consumed. This week I came across a pack of cauliflower and broccoli that was at the edge of expiry and when I checked the cheese drawer there was a rather tired looking chunk of mature cheddar and a scrap of parmesan….. ahhhh my mind went straight to cauliflower cheese. But with black clouds and pending rain, soup was a better option for lunches over the weekend.

The heading of this blog is ‘cauliflower & cheese’ as the pairing is classic, but I took ‘cook’s licence’ and blended 3 brassicas: cauliflower and broccoli from the fridge and fresh kale from the garden.

This year the kale is enjoying the rainy weather

Since we’ve had winter rains the kale is flourishing, but I must admit that this is not my favourite vegetable and for ‘health reasons’ I tolerate it. My kale stir fry with fresh pineapple and a few spoons of onion marmalade is about the most palatable kale dish that I have made, but it works well in soups.

The base is simply veggies simmered in milk and stock!

The base of the soup is simply vegetables simmered in a mixture of milk and stock without the old fashioned ‘bechamel’ base that was used for creamy soups. If you want a richer soup you can add cream, but I assure you with that quantity of cheese you will get all you need in the way of calories and richness!

This soup, served in small quantities can be an ideal dinner party starter on a chilly day, otherwise serve it as a meal. For those who cannot resist meat, a sprinkling of crisp bacon, pancetta or chorizo will work.

Recipe: Cauliflower cheese soup