Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Baked Cauliflower & Pepper Berry Soup - The Nordic/Aussie Way

When did cauliflower become a bank robber-only food item?  (I'm hunting up my balaclava as we speak.)  Yep, when the hipsters started slicing and roasting it so it became a "steak", or turning it into cauliflower rice.  Perhaps I was an odd child, but I always loved cauli and cabbage and brussels sprouts - yep the whole brassica family suits me just fine. But as a non-brassica-loving friend once said: "I don't care if they're the Addams Family; I hate 'em all!"  Ah, poor deluded gal...

I bought a couple of Nordic cookbooks recently, which both have a recipe for cauliflower soup.  One calls for steaming the cauli in a steam oven if you have one, then pushing it thru a sieve, and then blending it for 10 minutes, every so often turning the motor off to cool down!  Phew! Yep, you're right; I'm not making that one.  I've adapted a recipe from Simon Bajada's book The New Nordic. He's an Aussie chef/food photographer who moved to Sweden with his Swedish wife a few years ago. 

soup, glorious soup


6 Tasmanian mountain pepper berries or 5 juniper berries

1 tbs sea salt flakes (plus a pinch of smoked salt if you have it)

2 tbs (40 mLs) vegetable oil; he says rapeseed, I say olive 

800g. of cauliflower (near enough), trimmed of leaves and stems

3 cloves of garlic in their skins

800 mLs chicken stock

2 tbs toasted almond meal (optional)

100g. crème fraiche or sour cream (optional)

half a dozen grinds of white pepper

a sprinkle of smoked salt (optional)

to serve:  chopped hard-boiled eggs/snipped chives/diced bacon (optional)


Grind the berries and salt in a mortar and pestle

Add the oil to the mortar and mix together

Throw the cauliflower which you have broken up into florets or large chunks (doesn't matter which as long as they are about the same size) into a large bowl, tip in the oil mix and toss well

Place the cauli on a lined baking tray along with the 3 garlic cloves still in their skins 

Bake at 200C for 20 mins., give it a toss and place back in the oven for 10 mins still at 200C

Now turn the oven down to 180C and bake for another 10 mins = 40 mins all up cooking time

If using the almond meal, turn the oven down to 170C and toast the meal for 5-6 mins

Grab your tongs and put the roasted cauli into a large saucepan

Add the garlic that you squish out between your fingers straight into the pan

Heat the stock till gently simmering and add half to the pan

Blitz with a stick blender/wand - carefully 'cos it may splash 

Now pour in the rest of the stock, add the almond meal and a big knob of butter (about 1 tbs)

Whiz it all up, and add some pepper

Serve with hard boiled eggs, sour cream, chives, bacon if using and more pepper if liked


I bought 1 large whole cauliflower, which was just over a kilo (2.2 lbs). Once trimmed, there was a teeny bit over 800 grams of florets

The recipe calls for 50 grams of brown butter to be added just before serving.  Yes, you could do this; plenty of recipes on the Net, but I chose to add some smoked salt, toasted almond meal and 1 tbs of butter instead

Take note folks: this is a very thick soup, so you may want to add more stock or water or a bit of milk to thin it down

ingredients gleaming in the sun

about to bake the cauli and garlic @ 200C  

golden and toasty

into the saucepan for blitzing with the stock

get blending the cauli with the stock

toast the almond meal

garnish with boiled egg, chives and sour cream (yep that's my foot)

Well, this was interesting and different.  As Mr P. said, it just wouldn't have had much flavour without the garlic.  I'm glad I strayed from the recipe. I am still shuddering when I think about the other recipe book which used steamed and sieved cauli, without any herbs or spices or flavourings except salt and pepper.  Eek!   

my cauli doodle  


  1. This was another masterpiece by Mrs Pickings. The garlic really lifted the taste. Rather delicious.

  2. Ha! Who are you calling a hipster? I've made cauliflower rice, pizza and lots of other things but I'm no hipster ;)

    1. Ooh I don't know about that Lorraine. Sounds like a hipster to me :))

  3. Cauliflower soup can be quite nice even without garlic, I think. I add carrots (also for a little color) and onions, and puree only some of the solids to have some texture in the result. All your added flavors do sound good!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. hi Mae
      it was tasty with the added extras! cheers sherry

  4. i love the sound of this garlicky roasted cauliflower soup! i tried cauliflower rice once, but it wasn't my cup of tea (maybe because i used vanilla soy milk instead of normal milk!).

    1. hi heather
      ooh yes i think vanilla soy milk might not have been the right thing to use:=) eek. especially cos it usually has sugar in it. cheers!

  5. I don't really care about all that hipster stuff. The more vegies we all eat the better the earth will be, as long as those cauliflowers don't start growing beards we'll be ok!. Anyways it makes a great soup doesn't it? I love making it with cumin and smoked paprika and crushed coriander and sprinkled with toasted pepita seeds- and yours sounds great.

    1. hi tania
      i like the sound of your version too! cheers S

  6. Looks fantastic Sherry. I've gotta say cauliflower is my fav veg-I don't mind even if it's been 'hipsterfied' lol.

    1. hi Jem
      it was surprisingly tasty. yep i love brassicas too. all of 'em.:)


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