A cauliflower soup to mark the start of Spring, Spring breaks, and much wanted vacations

Yesterday marked the start of Spring Break at my son's school. Which means the kid is home for a whopping two weeks. And as it happens, the school where my husband teaches hasn't yet started their Spring Break, and this means there will be no interlopping vacational time for the three of us. Because dad's still at work while son's home scotch free - and mom don't matter since kid says mom is always on vacation, which, do not fret, I have put him right about that, making sure he realizes that in the end mom is the hardest working one around and never ever has a vacation...

As fate would have it, he's been taken poorly with a nasty cold. Whenever Spring comes round, it's always the same, we both get the sniffles, and allergies become constant, and most times we fall prey to colds, tonsilitis, whatnot. Spring Break is usually spent amongst teas, chicken broths, ramens and phos to make sure we get rid of the sneezes. But it's never a walk in the park type of break, you know. And so, soup is ever present at the start of our Spring!

The weather has not been that great, lately, with showers making a constant of last weekend's shennannigans, and that probably is not a bad thing in itself, as it makes me not want to go out, not crave for walks round the park or down the beach. Going out is out of the question with a poorly child, until he gets better, that is. Also the light gets intermitent with this kind of weather, making it so hard to photograph, and you will see by these pictures how one moment sun is drenching my table and the next, clouds cover the sky and darkness fills my living room.

Of course I am expecting a weather improvment in the days to come, as I am eager for warmer temps that allow me to wear my edwardian blouses non stop, or a lighter weight jacket, or cotton socks instead of wool ones. I am tired of turtlenecks, I am tired of woolblend overcoats, I am tired of boots and opaque tights, I long for flowery shoes, and sheer tights, and lightweight outfits. I long for Spring, minus the allergies.

I read someone say this WInter was not a particularly hard one, and I beg to differ. I remember last Winter, when the temps were quite mild, and there were heavy rains almost everyday. This year we've had a dryer season, but there were days filled with dark clouds that seem to sap one's joy when they go on week after week, after week. But the cold was the worse. Last Winter being so mild, as well as last Summer, my body was not prepared for such cold days I experienced. Those really drenched my energy, and just like a lizzard or a snake, I am in need of sunshine and warmth to feel energised once more. So I am longing not for tropical heatwaves but a mild Spring that invites me to get out there and become one with the world.

We are slowly getting there, as we begin to introduce, slowly, some salads into our menus, or yogurt dips, steering away from bean based soups and substituting those for lighter broths. We still do keep up with the roasts - I confess I roast a lot, most year round, honestly - and we still partake of our everyday soup, but these are lighter in consistency and perhaps less filling. Like this cauliflower soup, that to me is Spring in a bowl. It is light, tasty, but consistent enough to make a meal out of it, along with some crusty bread and some fruit.

You will need:
  • five big potatoes (double that number if they're small potatoes)
  • one cauliflower, cut into chunks, but use all of it minus the woody bits
  • half a cup of red lentils
  • one medium courgette
  • one medium onion
  • 1 litre of stock - we particularly like the combo of duck stock, lentils and cauliflower
  • salt, pepper, and more water to taste.
Peel the potatoes and dice in smallish cubes, washing thouroughly. Do the same with the onion and the caulifower. You won't need to soak the lentils, as these will cook nicely and provide a creaminess and a smokiness to the soup. On a pan place all the veggies and cover with the stock. If you like the soup fairly thick, don't add anymore water, anyways, you should adjust the quantity of liquid to your personal tastes. Bring to a boil and add the lentils, turning down the heat and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Let cook over a medium heat until all the vegetables are tender and done. Whizz the soup to a cream and enjoy with a scatter of fried onions on each bowl - it really works quite well! - and some slices of crusty bread. The addition of the red lentils to soups is a really great idea, in my book. It adds a creaminess to the broths and the smokiness they provide is quite unusual and unexpected. But feel free to omit them if it's not to your taste. Same goes for the broth, I particularly love the pairing of a good, strong duck broth to the cauliflower, but feel free to use chicken, turkey, vegetable broth or even plain water. If opting for this last, please do add a drizzle of olive oil at the end of the cooking time, it will enhance the whole of the soup. Hope you enjoy this simple meal!


  1. Olá minha querida. desculpa a falta de comentários mas isto tem andado a mil à hora por aqui, nem sei para onde me virar! bem, vale sempre tanto a pena deambuular pelo teu lindo blog, cada vez mais apelativo e mais interessante, por sinal. adoro esta composição fotográfica, o jogo de sombras, o cenário rústico mas chique e a receita super apetitosa, com a qualidade com que só tu sabes fazer!
    beijinhos e um ótimo resto de semana

  2. Mas que coisa acolhedora caraças txiiii :)))))
    É pena não terem férias ao mm tempo, mas assim tb podes passar tempinho c o baby.

    1. oh tempinho com o baby passo eu constantemente, o pai é que precisava de passar mais tempo com ele loooool.


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