Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Cauliflower, parsnip and camembert soup with flowers

Last week we ate a lot of soups and stews.  It was just that sort of week when comfort and ease were needed.  And if you have one of those weeks, I highly recommend putting some pretty flowers in your soup.  The only problem was that I was reluctant to eat it because I was so proud of my floral masterpiece!

It was the sort of week where the ring on my fob to unlock the car broke.  I tried to tape it back to the car key but when congratulating my self on getting this done at 11pm I saw I have taped my house keys on it instead of my car key!

It was the sort of week where in searching for a small lid, I knocked over some bookends.  I decided to fix the broken bits with superglue straight away.  The tube had been used before and would not budge.  Instead the superglue leaked onto my fingers!

It was the sort of week when I headed home with bags of groceries, all ready to put them away and start baking only to find that our handyman had arrived unannounced while I was out to work on a kitchen door.  And when I finally got back in the kitchen with washing to bring inside, groceries to put away and dinner to serve, I found that the leftover stew I had planned to serve had gone off!

It was just that sort of week.  A dizzy spell.  Stew spilled on the kitchen cupboards.  Hand-food-and-mouth disease.  Mouldy cake. More cardboard around the house than we could fit in our recycling bin.

Fortunately there was comfort too.  A good friend taking Sylvia overnight.  Sharing a large block of chocolate with my work colleagues.  A delicious lunch by my mum.  And lots of belly laughs while watching Jerry Lewis in Artists and Models with Sylvia and E.  Did anyone else find this on the tv often when they were a kid?  And there was soup!

This soup was inspired by a visit to the farmers market that saw me bringing home a large head of cauliflower, a bunch of parsnips and a tub of edible flowers.  At home was a wheel of camembert I had bought on special earlier in the week.  I wanted a white canvas on which to play with edible flowers.

The soup was really lovely.  It is an elegant pureed soup that I would serve in small bowls as an appetiser or have with bread as a meal, as we did.  The quantities can easily be altered to what you have on hand.  Just make sure to use a light coloured stock if you want a pale colour.  My homemade vegetable stock is quite dark so I used stock powder to flavour the soup.  If you want something more substantial you could add rice as E preferred.

It was really quite easy to make between watching a midday movie with Sylvia, who was a bit under the weather,  and heading out to book club.  I put a few flowers into the soup before I raced out the door.  As I left, I was cursing that I didn't think to add herbs.  The nights are starting to grow lighter as winter draws to a close.  When I got home, I had just enough light and a few leftover flowers to try again.  This time I was so happy with my floral arrangement I didn't want to eat my soup.

However I scooped out the flowers and herbs before eating.  Much as I love the look of flowers, I am not so interested in eating them.  But if you are out to impress, they do look lovely.

I am sending this soup to Jac for Meat Free Mondays, to Jac together with Lisa for No Croutons Required, Deb for Souper Sundays and Cindy for Gluten Free Fridays.

More cauliflower recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Cauliflower cheese sauce (gf, v)
Cauliflower and onion tart
Cauliflower, pea and parmesan polenta fingers (gf)
Cauliflower and zucchini soup with dumplings
Celery, watercress and cauliflower salad (gf, v)
Cheesy cauliflower and rice soup (gf, v)
Macaroni cheese with sauerkraut, cauliflower and blue cheese (v)
Meaty cauliflower and walnut lasagne
Vegan lasagne with cauliflower, hummus and tofu "ricotta" (v) 

Cauliflower, parsnip and camembert soup
An original recipe by Green Gourmet Giraffe
serves 6-8

1-2 tsp of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 litres stock
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and chopped
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
200g wheel of camembert
flowers and herbs to decorate (optional)

Fry onion in oil over medium heat in a stockpot for about 3-5 minutes to soften but try not to brown them.  Add garlic and parsnip and cook a few minutes more.  Add stock, caulifower and (if required) salt.  Bring to the boil and simmer about 5-10 minutes or until vegies are soft.  Remove from heat and add camembert.  Blend.  Check seasoning and adjust as required.  Decorate with flowers and herbs if desired (the herbs I used were rosemary, parsley and thyme).

On the Stereo:
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Music from the Second Series: Various Artists

22 comments:

  1. How pretty! A feast for the eyes.

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  2. definitely too lovely to eat! And here's to a more relaxing week :D

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    1. Thanks Faye - anything had to be better than that week (or at least it is boring to always catalogue all my woes but need to sometimes)

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  3. Beautiful! It would look great framed.... but I suspect it would make quite a mess when you put it on the wall!
    Joking aside.... It also sounds very delicious and I will look forward to colder weather over here when I may just gobble up a few bowls of it! x

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    1. Thanks Kate - very funny - and one of the nice things about autumn is that it is truly soup and stew time

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  4. This is lovely! I think I need to go searching for cauliflower and parsnips this weekend at the farmers market - can't wait to make this.

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    1. Thanks Ali - good luck with finding the veg at your farmers market

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  5. You deserve to be proud of this soup and the photographs of it! How beautiful. I'm sorry about the challenging week - it is amazing how the little things like spilled stew and interrupted washing can make a day so much harder. At least you had some positives to offset them.

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    1. Thanks Kari - little things can make or break a day - today we had a very frustrating morning with Sylvia's glasses being lost and I was quite doom and gloom - we found them tonight and I feel much lighter!

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  6. Yikes! That does not sound like a great week at all.
    "Fortunately there was comfort too." I'm always impressed when people still find the good in not so great times =)
    "The nights are starting to grow lighter as winter draws to a close." We are experiencing the opposite, I admit it's making me quite sad...
    This soup is truly gorgeous! I wouldn't want to eat it either. The picture in the bottom right hand corner of the 4-pictures looks like a painting =)

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    1. Thanks Kimmy - I really love the change of season whether it is nights getting longer or shorter though right now I really crave longer nights for some easy photographs at dinner time rather than racing around during the day when I am busy with other stuff. And so kind about my collage!

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  7. That really is a beautiful arrangement!

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    1. Thanks Caeli - the herbs make all the difference

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  8. Yay soup season is coming to us soon too, can't wait! This soup looks so beautiful and cauliflowers and parsnips are a great flavour combination.

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    1. Thanks VegHog - soup season is one of the joys of winter - enjoy!

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  9. I've got back from a short break, and catching up with blog reads, stunning photograph Johanna and edible flowers make everything alright. I do love them and have been growing some, though not so successfully this year as years before. Sorry to read you have had a bit of a tiring week, but these things are there to keep us on our toes I guess. I have soup on the stove...

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    1. Thanks Shaheen - nice to have you back and I am sure your garden is filled with wonderful flowers and bits of greenery for photos! I wish mine was likewise.

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  10. What a week! hope the coming one is better. This is such a gorgeous bowl of soup--the flowers against the white background make make it especially stunning. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

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    1. Thanks Deb - great to be back at Souper Sundays - it was definitely a lovely moment to discover it was back on

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  11. Oh, one of THOSE weeks. Hopefully this week will be better. I'll cross my fingers for you. Loving the soup and your use of flavours as well as flowers. I just know my boys would turn up their nose at flowers in their food *sigh*. BTW thanks for adding it to Meat Free Mondays. I have featured it xx

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    1. Thanks Jacqueline - yep one of THOSE weeks - this week better but I think we have the tiredness that comes at the end of term - School holidays start tomorrow afternoon - I didn't even bother with soup for Sylvia or flowers for E - pearls before swine :-) Thanks for featuring the soup on MFM

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