cauliflower and bacon

The subtle sweetness of the cauliflower and the velvety beans make this soup comforting yet light. Crisp and rich, crunchy bacon makes the perfect finish.

Serves 4 people

3 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, peeled and diced
2 central celery sticks, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf torn
1 medium cauliflower
160g cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 rashers of streaky bacon
600ml vegetable stock
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Heat the oven to 220C (240C non-fan).

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over a low heat. Add the 3 tbsp olive oil, onions, celery, bay leaf and a pinch of salt, cover with a lid and sweat for 15-20 minutes until they are soft and without colour.

Trim the green leaves from the cauliflower and cut out the main stem. Roughly chop the whole head and add it with the cannellini beans to the pan. Stir together, cover and keep the heat low, cooking for 20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.

In the meantime, lay the bacon onto a baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, until the fat is rendered and crisp. Lift the rashers from the tray and set aside on kitchen paper to cool and absorb the excess fat. Finely chop the rashers, or blitz them in a food processor until coarse.

Remove the bay, add the hot stock and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and blitz until very smooth and silky in texture.

Return to the heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the bacon and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil




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