Years ago, on our way to Hanmer Springs, we stopped by at Pegasus Bay Winery for lunch and I ordered the cauliflower soup with Pernod. I have substituted vodka and the end result is a decadent rich tasting soup.
1 medium cauliflower (600 -700 grams) washed and cut into small florets
1 large potato (150 grams)
1 large onion (150 grams), peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
50 grams butter
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
30ml vodka (optional)
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon hot English mustard
Chopped Italian Parsley for garnish
Salt to taste
Heat butter in a deep sauce pan. When the butter starts to melt and froth, add the onion and fry for three minutes until soft. Add the garlic and ground white pepper and fry for a minute. Next add the cauliflower florets along with the potato. When you feel everything is heated through, add the vodka. I immediately flambé the vodka – I light a match and do this. Then add three cups of water and one cup of milk. Let it come up to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are all soft. Remove from heat, stir in the mustard and add salt. Set aside a few pieces of the cooked cauliflower for garnishing the soup and using a hand held blender, blitz the vegetables until you get a glossy soup. Taste and adjust seasoning according to your preference.
Place the reserved cauliflower florets onto a soup bowl and ladle soup into the bowl. Garnish with the Italian Parsley. Serve with grilled cheese toast for a hearty lunch. Serves 6.