Soup is one of my Mum’s favourite foods and in winter there was always a pot bubbling away on our range. Inspired by Mum’s soup, I’ve added a touch of spice to this velvety cauliflower and leek soup. If using homemade vegetable stock, use raw vegetables, not roasted, to keep the stock light.


3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put well-drained chickpeas onto an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil, scatter with coriander, cumin and a little salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so until they are crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool (they will crisp up further).

2 tablespoons olive oil, ghee or butter
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large leek, white part only, finely sliced
(reserve green leaves)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 large cauliflower, cut into small chunks
(including stalks)
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1 litre vegetable stock
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat the olive oil, ghee or butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until translucent but not coloured. Add the leek and garlic and continue to cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the coriander, give it a good stir, then follow with the chopped cauliflower, potato and vegetable stock. Add a good few pinches of salt, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, place the pan lid ajar and cook for 20-25 minutes or until everything is tender.

While the soup is cooking, wash the reserved green parts of the leek and slice thinly. Heat a touch of olive oil in a frying pan and fry gently until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.

When the soup is cooked, carefully transfer to a blender (you’ll need to do this in two batches) and blend on high until super smooth. Return to a clean saucepan, add the lemon juice, a little white pepper and check to see if more salt is needed. Reheat the soup until warm once again. Serve bowls of soup topped with a scattering of crispy chickpeas and the tender-cooked leek tops.

Leftover soup and cooked leek tops can be cooled and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Leftover chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry for 2-3 days, although they do tend to become softer with time.

TEA A full-bodied buttery green tea, such as Woojeon from South Korea.

Credits: Recipes, food styling & photography Emma Galloway, Tea matches Anna Kydd, The Tea Curator

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