Monday, 3 March 2014

Cauliflower and Spinach Soup with Chicken Croutons

I have just done something really really stupid! Did I mention that I got a new toy last week??

OMG best appliance I have ever had! And first oven I have ever bought! It's second hand, but as far as I'm concerned, it's the best oven ever and I am even more addicted to cooking now. Considering the old one was basically a museum piece (it still had the exposed coil elements - who has those?!!) it seems so modern and HUGE! 

The stupid thing I did though was not taking my own advice…typical! That gorgeous flat ceramic top on it was one of my concerns, especially with the kids, as it is so easy to not realize that the stove top is still hot, so I have been busy drilling it into them that it is not safe. Now, I am rocking a massive bandage on my hand thanks to having memory like a goldfish and taking too much pride in the new toy! I had just finished heating up lunch (by chance, the leftovers of the soup this post is about) on the stove, removed the pot from the heat, turned the element off and went about plating the soup up and clearing up. I was just about to go and eat when I saw some crumbs on the stove top and without even thinking about it I swiped my hand across the stove top to remove the crumbs. AAAAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!! Crumbs are still there, but I'm fairly sure a pretty decent sized chunk of my hand will soon be coming off once the burn gets to the blister stage. The entire section of my hand from the first knuckle on the pointer finger down to the base of the thumb is completely seared. Stupid!

Anyway, that's my excitement for the day, so hopefully that will be the only disaster. 

Yesterday it was one of those days where I had had a bit of a blowout over the weekend, and was really in the mood for a light dinner to soothe the overworked digestive system. We had some chicken leftover from the weekend which was just some basic chicken thighs that had been grilled on the BBQ which needed to be used. I made this cauliflower and spinach soup to get a big bowl full of nutrients and added the chicken to give a protein element to the meal, but the soup is a star on its own if you would prefer to have a vegetarian option, or you could add a poached egg or even some bacon if you wanted to make a bigger meal out of it. 

Cauliflower and Spinach Soup 

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped into smallish pieces
2 cups chicken or vegetables stock
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 shallots, or half an onion, roughly chopped
2 cups baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 2 cooked chicken thighs, diced, to use a croutons

1. In a large pot, place the stock, cauliflower, onion and garlic. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is soft. 
2. Add the spinach, and cook for a couple of minutes until wilted. 
3. Season with salt and pepper. 
4. Using a stick blender, or in a blender, blend the soup until smooth. The soup was quite thick which I like, but if you prefer a thinner consistency you can add either some hot water, hot stock or even coconut milk (this would create a really yummy creaminess) to the mix to thin it out. 
5. Top with you 'croutons', or serve in the manner you prefer.