Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup
This vegan soup has a velvety texture and mellow, garlicky sweetness
2 shallots, halved
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tsp cumin seeds
8 garlic cloves; 6 unpeeled, 2 finely sliced
20 g sunflower seeds
400 g canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
500 ml hot vegetable stock
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Trim the base of the cauliflower, removing any large, tough leaves. Cut off the smaller leaves and set aside, halving any thick stems. Roughly chop the remaining cauliflower and put in a roasting tin with the shallots. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp cumin seeds; season. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and roast for 10 minutes. Add the reserved cauliflower leaves and roast for 20-25 minutes more, until golden.
2. Just before the cauliflower is ready, toast the sunflower seeds in a small frying pan on a medium heat; tip onto a plate. Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in the same pan and fry the sliced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds for 1 minute, until golden. Set aside.
3. Remove the garlic and cauliflower leaves from the roasting tin. Tip everything else into a blender. Squeeze in the garlic from its skins, then add the beans, stock and 200ml water. Whizz until smooth; season. Divide between bowls, top with the cauliflower leaves, sunflower seeds and garlic oil and serve with crusty bread, if liked.