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Cauliflower and broccoli cheese pesto soup

This soup happened by accident at the weekend. I steamed some cauliflower and broccoli, and I was going to combine these with some hot smoked salmon in a bake type thing, with an instant cheese sauce courtesy of some cheddar and creme fraiche – and some crunchy breadcrumbs on top. Sounds good, right?

Well, I overcooked the cauliflower and broccoli. But it’s all OK – because this happened instead!

I whizzed up the very soft vegetables with the stock I had cooked them in, adding some creaminess via the cheese and creme fraiche. I was very careful with the Dijon as they both seem to have developed mustard radar systems that the FBI would be proud of. You know, if mustard was on the Most Wanted list… they’re not fans.

I also added a generous tablespoon of pesto, a stroke of genius as it happens, as I then decided to call it broccoli and pesto soup – its overt addition made the kids asses the soup as, in fact, edible. In fact they both really enjoyed it. I put the salmon and breadcrumbs in bowls so they could add it themselves which they loved, They seemed to enjoyed the textures and both eat a lot more than they usually would when faced with a green soup!

Serves: 3/4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

1 small  cauliflower, cut into florets and stalks chopped small (add the leaves)
1 broccoli, same as above
500ml vegetable stock
75g cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon of pesto
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of creme fraiche
Pepper (plus salt if using a homemade stock)

For the breadcrumbs:
Rustic bread, whizzed up
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh thyme

To serve: 
180g hot smoked salmon fillet, flaked


  1. Simply steam / boil the vegetables in the stock.
  2. Fry off the bread in oil with seasoning and herbs. Set aside. 
  3. Once soft, whizz up, adding the creme fraiche, cheese, pepper, Dijon, pesto. 
  4. Serve with the flaked salmon and breadcrumbs on top. 

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