Idiot Proof Cauliflower Cheese Soup Recipe (With Vegan Option)

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Do you have a recipe up your sleeve that you can knock out in no time at all, and smile smugly as your friends and family devour it in satisfied silence? If not, then behold, this is that recipe!

I basically hate cauliflower, I think it’s the dullest of the ground vegetables, and that it always tastes vaguely like feet. Yum. Anyway, in this spicy cauliflower cheese soup recipe, all you get is warming chilli and smoky garlic – no feet taste at all. The base recipe is vegan, but I throw a bunch of cheese in sometimes too, which makes it extra yum (I’m sure vegan melty cheese would work just as well too).

You might ask why I elected to make a cauliflower soup at all, or why I bought cauliflower, if I don’t like it. The answer is simple – I thought Brian might enjoy cauliflower, and he didn’t, so I found myself with a surplus of the stuff.

Shall we just get cracking?

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower

½ large white onion

2 cloves garlic

1 carrot

1 stalk celery

1 pint veg stock

1 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp chilli flakes

Oil (I use rapeseed)

(Optional) tablespoon garlic cheese roule or boursin

  1. Dice the onion, garlic, celery and carrot super small. Fry off in the oil for, like, 5 minutes. Or until you’re certain you’ve almost burnt the garlic and you can’t hold off any longer.
  2.  Chop the cauliflower into little flourets (the smaller you cut it, the quicker it’ll cook). Chuck it in the pan. Don’t bother with the stalk. Or do bother. Whatever.
  3. Pour over the stock and simmer until the cauliflower is super soft (like, you can crush it to smithereens with the gentlest press from the back of a spoon)
  4. Whiz in the liquid smoke and chilli flakes
  5. If you have a hand blender, now’s a great time to pulp that badboy up. Personally I blend everything in a nutri-bullet because I don’t have the time for buying extra gadgets, so I let the soup cool a while before blending it. Or pour a bit of cold water in if I’m rushing.
  6. When it’s all smooth and lovely, whack it back on the heat and add in extra water if necessary, until you’ve got it at the desired thickness.
  7. If you’re opting for added cheese, stir in a healthy scoop of Boursin/Cream cheese/Garlic roule and stir until it’s all mixed in. Yum.

This is literally one of the most satisfying things to scoff on a chilly afternoon, and it takes hardly any time at all to make. Without the cheese it’s also really healthy. If you need to add a bit of stodge, enjoy with a buttery wedge of bread, or throw a few diced potatoes in the pot at the same time as the cauliflower.

Enjoy!

 

Kitty

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Life Update & Autumn Travel Snaps

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Um, GUYS! It’s been a while since I checked in, because life has been changing so quickly I’ve barely had time to consider my little place online – but I’ve been checking in and I can see that there’s a whole bunch of you still checking back for new content – so here it is!

Let’s ease back into it with a little life update & some snaps from our recent trip to Valencia where we visited both mine & Mr K’s parents.

For those of you following on Insta, you’ll know that Brian is doing great – I crafted him a little tee-pee from some wooden dowels and an old curtain and he loves it.

That mini project marked the beginning of my Autumn artistic streak – does anyone else out there feel a surge of inspiration as a new season launches? Autumn is always that time for me, and since then I’ve worked on some wall art, metallic upcycled vases and some festive projects – and I’ll share a little bit of all of them soon. For a few easy starter projects though, I’ve really loved this kit and this kit.

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Food-wise, I’ve developed an amazing Toffee Apple Cheesecake recipe and a couple of savoury delights like Gruyere Mushrooms, Vegan Cauliflower Soup & Smoky Seafood Stew. Flipping yummy & all very seasonally relevant. Recipes on their way!

Work-wise, I’m approaching a transition – my business area is under consultation so I’m (probably) facing redundancy in the next few months, so I’m doing a lot of personal reflection on who I am and who I want to be, professionally. It’s equal parts petrifying and invigorating to be faced with a fresh start.

I’ve been such a rubbish athlete lately – I’ve managed like 1 short run per week if I’m lucky, but I have done a fair share of walking and have been eating OK the past couple of weeks. I must be doing enough, because no winter ailments have befallen me yet, *touch wood*.

And now, because I feel like I’ve missed out on sharing a ton of exciting things I’d normally have blogged about, here’s a little list of stuff I’ve loved since June:

Spending time at farmers markets (I’ve loved Hebden Bridge & Ramsbottom in particular)

Reading The Golem and the Djinni – an excellent and rather dark love story

Watching Grey’s Anatomy for the first time. Late to the party I know, but binging it is making me wonder if I’m team Preston or team Owen. And being a little mad at what they did to George.

I’ve been drinking Vimto like it’s a life support system. Why would anyone drink anything else?

Spending some fully chilled time chuckling at r/thathappened and some truly petrified time reading r/nosleep.

Christmas shopping. Oh my word. My brother is in New Zealand for Christmas so we’re posting his gifts out to him. On the bright side, it has made me get my act together much earlier.

Phew! Ok I think we’re all caught up. What have you guys been up to?

Kitty

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Thessaloniki | 3 Chilled Days in Greece’s Food & Coffee Capital

 

Aristotle Square, Thessaloniki

There is plenty of history in Thessaloniki – it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe, being founded in 315 BC by King Cassander of Macedon (I wonder if Jesus had heard of it?)

Visiting feels like wandering around inside a relic – but in a freer, more bohemian way than Rome, and a less pretentious way than Paris. Students are everywhere, and they’re all artistic, musical or dramatic. They look vibrant and full of life. They eat big sandwiches in groups on street corners, and laugh with all their teeth showing. I love that about it – there’s a clash of historic and modern, all swirling together under the watchful eye of Mt Olympus, which you can see from across the water.

I arrive and know I love this city, before I’ve even had my first coffee there. But of course, our first stop is Coffee. We arrived on a Saturday morning, fresh from 3 days sun seeking in Vourvouro on Halkidiki. Lucky for us, Thessaloniki is the home of the café frappé – and so it took us less than a minute to secure a chilled caffeine fix and spend 30 mins people watching before seeking out our Air BnB. They ask “would you like your coffee sweet?” and don’t flinch when I practice my extremely broken Greek to tell them yes, please, and I know I’m home.

The city is small, so everything is in walking distance except for the fortress (and even that is if you don’t mind a hill). The smallness of the city meant our Air BnB (Constaninos Place) was perfectly located for great restaurants, bars and nightlife but also quite tranquil. As it was a penthouse apartment, it was also extremely peaceful on our private terrace – which turned out to be the perfect place to enjoy a few hours’s afternoon sun and a few glasses of Mavrodaphne (which, by the way, you absolutely should drink).

The hotels are clandestine – you don’t really notice them as you wander around the main areas – except for the Electra Palace, a flourish of a hotel off Aristotle Square. It’s impressive, and so are the views from their sun terrace – but don’t be fooled into staying there. It’s a little stuffy (we stayed on our last night) and there are much more comfortable places at much better prices. Their breakfast, however, is wonderful, and they do have free Turkish delight in the lobby, so…

Port, Halkidiki

The Food in the city was incredible, which is literally what we came for, and which is also a little suspicious because everywhere was good. Personal recommendations include a cafe frappe and bougatsa for breakfast (treat yourself, get it with honey and cinnamon), a byzantine beetroot salad for lunch and mussels with rice for dinner. Thessaloniki is a port city, so get the fish. Every time. The fish market is fantastic and has an amazing variety, and most restaurants have beautiful signature seafood dishes. Like Vanilla Risotto. Weird but delicious.

Towards the port authority building is a crooked nest of restaurants, plazas woven together by cobbled streets – this is the good stuff, and where you should eat all your meals. Friendly stray dogs snooze in the sunshine while Greek couples smoke lazy cigarettes and pick at leftover red snapper. The balloon lady circles past one too many times. You can smell the sea even though you can’t see it – and it feels so Greek you almost mistake yourself for a local as you sip your carafe of house red. As you leave these places, you hope you get hungry again soon, just for an excuse to go back.

Best dining in Thessaloniki

If shopping is your thing, Thessaloniki has it – but nothing majorly artisan. If, for some reason, you want to fly 4 hours then shop the same stuff you can get at home in Zara, H&M or Foot Locker, then this city has what you want. It also has what you want if you’re after willy shaped pens or fridge magnets – but that’s a byproduct of tourism.

We spent 4 sweet, sweet days there in April and I can’t wait to go back – until then I remember it like I was temporarily authored into an exquisite poem where a young couple enjoy luxuries far beyond their means, and the twist is that those luxuries are simple stuff like time together, good wine and excellent food. And sunshine, because everything is nicer in the sunshine.

Kitty

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