Cauliflower and white bean soup with crispy bacon
Although available all year round, cauliflower is at its best in the winter months and tastes great in this wonderfully warming soup. The nuttiness of cauliflower pairs brilliantly with crisp bacon lardons, and hearty cannellini beans bring a delicious creaminess to this dairy-free soup recipe. Perfect for batch cooking, you can freeze any leftovers and enjoy another time.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based flameproof casserole or saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cauliflower, celery and shallots or onion and cook for 10 mins until slightly softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 min. Add the beans and stock, then cover and cook for 30–35 mins until the vegetables are tender and breaking apart.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the bacon lardons and fry for 2-3 mins until they begin to caramelise. Set aside.
- Blitz the soup using a handheld blender until it has a smooth, silky consistency. Season to taste.
- Divide between bowls and garnish with the bacon lardons, chives and some black pepper.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Make the soup, then leave to cool at room temperature. Freeze (without garnishes or toppings) in a rigid container, leaving a bit of space for expansion, for up to 1-3 months. Reheat either from frozen or defrost in the fridge overnight. Once piping hot, add toppings or garnishes and serve.
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