cream of {purple} cauliflower soup

"An understated soup, Alice Waters' style, where not even the stock interferes with the taste of the cauliflower", from Living and eating, by John Pawson and Annie Bell

cream of {purple} cauliflower soup

2 cauliflower heads (about 1 1/4 ponds each) - table.etc: i used purple cauliflower
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and sliced - table.etc: i used 2 spring onions
4 tbs creme fraiche or heavy cream
sea salt
freshly grated nutmeg
chervil sprigs, to serve - table.etc: i used Italian parsley

1. Break the cauliflower up into florets and set aside a handful for garnishing.
2. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the onion + cauliflower with a little water and sweat for about 15 minutes, without letting them color.
3. Add water to cover, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over a medium heat for 25 minutes. 
4. Meanwhile, add the reserved florets to a pan of boiling salted  water and parboil for 6-8 minutes, so they retain some freshness.
5. Puree the soup in batches in a blender, return it to the saucepan, and gently reheat.
6. Add the creme fraiche (table.etc: instead, I dropped 1 ts. creme fraiche in each bowl before serving) and season with salt and nutmeg to taste.
7. Serve very hot, garnished with the cauliflower florets and chervil sprigs.

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