Where would we Paleo world dwellers be without the cauliflower? I know not everyone can tolerate it but for those who can, it is incredibly versatile. So, however you fit it into your own cooking, be it a substitute for rice or mash, don’t forget that it also makes an amazing soup. Roasting your cauli first brings out a beautiful wholesome, rustic flavor and when you roast your garlic too, well that adds a delicious earthy sweetness to your bowl. It’s actually tempting to roast extra cloves just to squeeze their sticky flesh straight into your mouth but I’m telling you all my secrets here. 😉
The minuscule sprinkling of ginger on the cauli doesn’t really impart a gingery flavor, it is there to give the soup the merest hint of heat. The flavored oil, on the other hand, gives it a nice little kick. There’s nothing to stop you making up the oil well in advance, even days before, and you’ll find there’s easily enough for another day, too.
- For the gingered thyme oil:
- ½ cup mild olive oil
- 1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
- 2 long sprigs thyme
- For the soup:
- 1 medium cauliflower (1½ lbs), divided into large florets
- 4 large cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons melted duck fat, or other solid fat
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch sea salt plus more to taste
- 2-2¼ cups warm chicken broth
- 4-6 slices prosciutto, ripped into medium-sized pieces
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Start by making the gingered thyme oil. Pour the oil into a small pan and add the slices of ginger and sprigs of thyme. Warm gently to the point you can still put your little finger in without it burning, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse.
- Put the cauliflower and garlic onto a large baking tray, pour over the melted oil and toss to coat. Now sprinkle over the ginger and a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 35-40 minutes until browned on the edges, turning mid way through.
- Meanwhile line a separate tray with parchment paper and lay out the prosciutto slices. Cook until crispy, about 6-10 minutes. I know this timing sounds very noncommittal but the precise cooking time will depend on how thick your slices are. They will crisp up on cooling.
- When the roasted veggies are ready, squeeze the garlic out of their skins and transfer to a blender, together with the cauli and warmed broth. Blitz until smooth, starting with 2 cups broth and adding more if you like your soup thinner. Taste and add more salt as needed.
- Ladle into warmed bowls and top with crispy prosciutto and a drizzle of the infused oil.