Creemy Cauliflower and Celeriac Soup

This is a crowd-pleaser. Even the pickiest of palates is sure to appreciate the rich and unctuous mouthfeel, the discreet spicing and the wintery hue. Paired with a salad it makes a lovely light meal although it could also serve as the first course in a multiple-plate affair. This is also an incredibly simple soup to make and I’m always happy when a few short minutes translates to a taste it feels like you slaved all day over. Furthermore, the recipe makes about 14 cups – so you have enough to feed a crowd (or yourself for the week). While you can make it on the stove-top, you’ll really save time if you have a pressure cooker!

What you need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 40g fresh basil, coarsely chopped (about a cup, loosely packed)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 onions, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sherry (optional)
  • 1 medium or large head of cauliflower, cut into 1-1/2” florets and chunks (use the core too)
  • 3 cups celeriac, diced into 1-1/4” pieces
  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight and drained if using the stove-top method)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons (or more or less, to taste) of salt

What you do (pressure cooker or electronic pressure cooker version):

  1. In the pressure cooker, heat the oil over a medium flame and add the garlic and onions. Sauté until golden.
  2. Deglaze with the sherry.
  3. Add everything else to the pot except for the salt, fit the lid and bring to pressure for 9 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. For those with an electronic pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot!), 9 minutes on soup cycle with natural pressure release.
  4. Open the lid once the pressure is released (carefully – it’s dang hot in there), add the salt. Use a stick-blender to blend the soup until it’s thick and creemy.
  5. Serve.

What you do (pressure cooker or electronic pressure cooker version):

  1. In a thick-bottomed soup pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over a medium flame and add the garlic and onions. Sauté until golden.
  2. Deglaze with the sherry.
  3. Add everything else to the pot except for the salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until all the ingredients are quite soft. This will probably take 30-45 minutes.
  4. Add the salt. Use a stick-blender to blend the soup until it’s thick and creemy.
  5. Serve.

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