Cream of cauliflower soup with pan-fried langoustines

Serve Andrew Fairlie's elegant soup as a starter at your next dinner party
Cream of cauliflower soup with pan-fried langoustines
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight drying
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 80 g butter
  • 1 litres vegetable or chicken stock, or half-and-half stock and milk
  • 800 g new season's cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 6 large langoustines, blanched
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method

1. Combine the salt and curry powder in a small bowl, then spread onto a baking tray and leave overnight to dry out.

2. Put the toasted cumin seeds into a small muslin bag.

3. In a large heavy-based saucepan, melt half of the butter. Add the stock, cauliflower, sugar and the cumin seed bag. Bring quickly to the boil and cook for 12 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.

4. Remove the bag of cumin seeds and puree the cauliflower mixture in a food processor, then strain back into a clean saucepan.

5. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornflour in the water. Gently reheat the soup until simmering, add the cornflour solution and whisk rapidly for 1 minute to cook the cornflour. Stir in the cream, bring back to the boil and add the remaining butter.

6. Remove from the heat, return the mixture to the food processor and process until the soup has a very creamy, velvety texture. Return the soup to the saucepan again and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Reheat gently.

7. Break the tails away from the bodies of the blanched langoustines and remove the shell from the tails. (Freeze the bodies and shells to use in stock or bisque.)

8. Lightly coat the langoustine tails in the salt and curry powder mixture.

9. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan until almost smoking. Add the langoustines and fry for one minute on each side. Drain on kitchen paper.

10. To serve, pour the hot soup into warmed serving bowls and put a cooked langoustine into the centre of each bowl.

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