- 2 T olive oil
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 400 g fresh cauliflower, broken into florets
- salt, to taste
- 3¼ cups hot water
- extra virgin olive oil, for serving
- freshly ground black pepper, for serving
1. Sweat the onions in the olive oil over a low heat for 10–15 minutes until translucent without letting them brown. Check a few times and stir so that the onions do not caramelise.
2. Add the cauliflower, salt and ¼ cup hot water. Increase the heat slightly and cover the pot tightly. Stew the cauliflower for 12–15 minutes, or until tender. Add 2½ cups hot water, bring to a low simmer, and cook for a further 20 minutes.
3. Purée the soup using a stick blender or in batches in a regular blender until very smooth and creamy. (I strain the liquid from the cauliflower, then pop the cauliflower without liquid into the blender and then add the liquid in a slow stream to with the motor running.)
4. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. It will thicken slightly. Thin it with the remaining water and reheat. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra virgin olive oil and black pepper.
Cook's note: I have adapted a ‘genius’ recipe from Paul Bertolli for a family of four, I showed unusual restraint in following his recipe EXACTLY. Trust me when I say that its beauty is in its unadorned absolute simplicity, which defies customary habit to add stuff (Cream? Spice?) for fear that a dish might not be exciting enough. This time is teaching us that adding too much to try and make things better sometimes masks true beauty and simplicity.
Photographs: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnelly
Food assistant: Bianca Strydom