About this recipe: A classic combination as a vegetable dish, cauliflower and Cheddar cheese are equally good partners in a soup. Here the cauliflower is gently simmered in milk and stock, then puréed to a velvety-smooth texture. This is a warming soup that makes a simple lunch or supper dish, served with crusty rolls.
Cheddar cheese, like most other cheeses, is a good source of protein and an excellent source of calcium, but it is high in fat. Reducing the amount of cheese that would normally be used in a dish like this, and choosing a mature cheese with a strong taste, keeps fat levels healthy, and the cheese still makes a valuable nutritional contribution. * Cauliflower is a member of the brassica family of cruciferous vegetables. Its distinctive sulphurous compounds are believed to play a part in protecting against certain forms of cancer and heart disease. * Onions are not only believed to help reduce the risk of cancer but also to help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Use all the cauliflower in the soup. For the garnish, mix together 4 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt and 2 tbsp chopped parsley or snipped fresh chives. Swirl a spoonful of this herb yogurt on top of each bowl of soup. * For a spiced parsnip and cheese soup to serve 6, soften 1 finely chopped onion in 15 g (½ oz) butter. Stir in 550 g (1¼ lb) finely diced parsnips, 1 tsp cumin seeds and ½ tsp ground coriander. Cook for 2 minutes, then add 600 ml (1 pint) semi-skimmed milk, 450 ml (15 fl oz) vegetable stock and a bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the parsnips are tender. Remove the bay leaf and purée the soup with a hand-held blender, or in a blender or food processor. Reheat until piping hot. Ladle into warmed bowls and sprinkle with 115 g (4 oz) grated Red Leicester or Double Gloucester cheese. Garnish with a few torn fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.
C, calcium * A, B1, B6, B12, folate, potassium, zinc * B2, E, niacin, iron