The Great Winter Soup Challenge #1

A week or so ago we decided we could do with a light supper soup once a week throughout winter. Now, I inhale good soup but I’m easily bored. I like new stuff. And I particularly like hard stuff. I can make stock and consommé and chop and whizz with the best of them.

But I’m attracted to new flavours and combinations. I’m especially attracted (when it comes to soup) to all the fancy stuff that goes with it that turns a simple bowl of soup into an event. I’m talking croutons, dumplings (oh, the variety), spiced oils, chopped herbs, wafer-y things, crispy things and all kinds of stuff that will have me crossing town to buy some exotic ingredient to put on top.

So my challenge for winter is to make a different soup every week for the next 13 weeks.

soupYesterday morning was week one and it wasn’t a good start. I was feeling a little…overindulged, maybe a touch seedy. I certainly didn’t have the inclination to begin with making stock. I needed something to remind me that I’d been out on the razzle-dazzle the night before and I’d better get back to basics. What better vegetable than the humble cauliflower with its creamy white, vaguely prehistoric look to remind me that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? When teamed with leek, onion and milk, it could almost be nursery food, suitable for soothing and nourishing tired children and, more importantly, hungover (let’s not put too fine a point on it) adults.

But it’s deceptive because along comes cream and butter, hand in hand and ready to corrupt. From there it’s a short slide down the slippery calorie slope to frying croutons for the top.

It was unctuous, creamy and deeply satisfying. I’m giving it a 7/10.

So what about you? I’d love to hear about your favourite soup.