Quick Winter Dinner

I know Wednesdays are supposed to be about reviews and I know it’s probably rude to review your own quick hasty-tasty dinner-making, but if it bothers you, pretend someone else made this okay?

Okay, now we have that out of the way, I would like to introduce you to the very easy, very cheap, quick, really quite healthy and ridiculously tasty (for what is in it) dinner that is my:

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

This soup is the kind of thing you make when you have no idea what is for dinner and you walk into the supermarket and find that cauliflowers as big as your head are $1.50 each. (And yes, I know it looks like high-quality wall-paper paste with speckles, but you try photographing cauliflower soup!  It tastes good.)

Step one: Buy two good-sized cauliflowers

Step two: If you don’t already have some in the pantry, get yourself some Massel chicken stock powder.
NOTE ON STOCK: If you are the domestic goddess type (at least this week) who has home-made chicken stock in the freezer, skip this bit.  If you aren’t, and you can’t find Massel, take a few minutes to find a stock powder that is made of actual food, rather than a string of numbers.  It will taste much better and you won’t glow in the dark.  Failing that, buy liquid stock, but water it down, as they are usually very salty.

Step three: Get a 200ml or 300ml carton of sour cream (light if you like. Doesn’t matter)

Step four: Grab some garlic bread or rustic, crusty fresh bread


Get out a large pot and put the kettle on (on the heat, not the pot, in case you were wondering).

Chop the cauliflower and shove in pot.  Chop the hard bits small, so they cook quickly, but otherwise, don’t fuss over this.  It’s going to be smooshed anyway.  Just get out a big knife and massacre that sucker.

Cover the cauli with boiling water and add the stock powder.  I use one heaped tsp of Massel powder per 500ml of water, roughly.  Adjust depending on what you are using.  You won’t need seasoning, all those prepared stocks are salty enough. (Domestic Goddesses can work out seasoning for themselves).  FWIW, the water doesn’t have to be boiling, it just makes cooking the soup faster.

Bring to boil and simmer rapidly until the cauliflower is really soft.  Don’t be impatient here.  The key to a really creamy soup is to wait until the cauli is just about mashing itself in the water.  I also simmer with the lid off, to reduce the liquid a bit, again for creaminess.

When it is cooked, whizz it with a stick blender and whizz in the sour cream.  You can have it without the sour cream, if you like.  It’s still nice.  But the sour cream gives a kick to the flavour that makes it very special.

Serve it with the bread and a pepper grinder handy.  This amount will serve 6 for dinner.  Adjust up or down, depending on the size of your pot!


If anyone has any suggestions for other natural stock powders, please share.  I started using Massels because it is gluten-free and vegetarian and I have coeliac and veggie friends who eat at my house.  I kept using it because it is convenient and tastes much better than the artificial ones.  But I’m not sure it is available everywhere, so more info gratefully received.

18 thoughts on “Quick Winter Dinner

  1. Thanks for that Imelda. I laughed. Yeah domestic goddess – I’m afraid I’m not one of those. I usually just buy Campbell’s chicken or vegetable stock. The liquid one. It’s fantastic and I swear by it so does Masterchef. I always have some in the pantry.

    Now on to the soup. Cauliflower soup is delish, and your picture of it looks is good. It looks really creamy. I love soups and it’s the perfect weather for them at the moment.


    • I used to use the Campbells liquid stock all the time and still do sometimes. I started with the Massels because I had a coeliac friend coming for risotto and I realised at the last minute that the liquid stock isn’t gluten-free. And the Massels is so tasty and convenient that I’ve never gone back. They also make a really good gravy mix which I can bring myself to eat (I can’t help reading the back of the gravox box and the numbers put me off).

  2. Hey Imelda! I did not know that about stock – thanks! BTW I also use the same method with broccoli and pumpkin, but I add an onion, a potato and some fresh garlic into the mix. With the pumpkin I put in some nutmeg, and with both I use the Philly cream for cooking. I make a huge batch and it lasts three meals 😀 The pain is peeling all that pumpkin but so worth it!

  3. I love soups as the temperature dips. Haven’t made cauliflower soup yet, but regularly make variations of pumpkin, and have a lovely Georgian soup that includes leeks. In fact, I think that might be on the menu tonight! Thanks for sharing.

    • Ooh, I would love to see the one with leeks. I have a secret ambition to grow up to be Clarissa from Two Fat Ladies, with all her ye olde recipes and arcane kitchen equipment.

  4. When does the cookbook “Recipes for Non Domestic Goddesses” come out? Laughed at numbers that make you glow in the dark. I happened to have cauliflower cooking as I clicked on this.

  5. Thanks, Imelda! I regularly make something similar called “no-tatoes” from the Tony Ferguson diet book. It’s just cooked cauliflower blended with 90g low-fat Philly cheese. We use it instead of mashed potato to go with casseroles etc. For the last year my husband has kept off the 25kg he lost through cutting out carbs and substituting with this (amongst other things).

  6. Pingback: Cruisin’ with RWA « Romance Writers of Australia

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