Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cauliflower Comfort

One of the things I am very happy about here in England is the quality of food.  (While not all produce is local to England, it is mostly local to Europe.)  All fruits and vegetables I purchase (especially the organic ones) are extremely flavorful.  With all the fresh produce available to me in California I still never had vegetables that tasted as good as here in Europe.  The bell peppers are very sweet, as are the carrots and the cauliflower is fabulous.  (I never thought I would use the words cauliflower and fabulous in the same sentence!)  I was not a huge cauliflower fan most of my life, but I am now officially converted.  (My mom also touts cauliflower as a food with properties that can help beat cancer.)  With the weather still quite cold, this soup sounded both comforting and satisfying.

Cook down one chopped onion with olive oil
Add one head of cut up cauliflower
Carmelize the cauliflower and onions
Add 5-6 cups vegetable broth (or you could use chicken broth if you wish) keep cooking
Meanwhile grate about 1 cup of strong white cheddar 
Once the cauliflower has cooked for some time in the broth it will begin to soften and break down

At this point blend the soup, (in Europe hand blenders are popular) I quite like them, but to be honest I would still choose my stand blender over the hand blender any day
Add grated cheese to blended soup

Mmmm....smooth and creamy....and to think no cream was used!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Edge Hill

Beautiful views of several neighboring counties in Warwickshire
At the first indication spring may be arriving, my husband and I decided to visit a pub in Edge Hill.  This particular pub is special because it overlooks the valley where the first battle in the English civil war was fought.  As I live here longer, I begin to get a better since of what history means and what constitutes "old."  

The Castle Inn Pub was completed in 1750, the octagonal tower marks the spot where King Charles first summoned his officers for civil war
Cider is not considered a 'weak' alternative to beer here, (it generally has more alcohol content.)  Scrumping actually refers to the activity of going around the countryside looking for apples (i.e. stealing them) to make cider!

Our dog Luna enjoying a bit of rare sunshine
I loved all the different sauces here, you have the usuals like mustard and ketchup, but you also have "brown sauce" aka HP
What pub meal is complete without chips?