I’m back – with roasted cauliflower and chorizo soup!


Well, I’m back! And here’s a brief scorecard as a teaser for a longer post on our glorious skiing holiday:

  • Planes missed – none
  • Bags lost by airline – one (not mine – phew! And they did later find it.)
  • Evenings spent sipping champagne in the hot tub – 6
  • Ski school classes completed – 6
  • Fabulous chalet hosts – 2
  • Episodes of weeping on the slopes – 0!
  • Blue runs skied – about 8
  • Cheese fondues consumed – 1
  • Broken bones/torn ligaments/wrenched limbs – 0!

So, all in all, a successful trip!

I can’t wait to get back to reading blogs and catching up with what’s been happening while I’ve been away, but for now let me just update you on three things:

THE 2009 SOUTH AFRICAN BLOG AWARDS  Nominations for these opened on 1 March and will still be open until the end of this week – any nominations that you’d like to bestow on me would be gratefully received!  You have to nominate at least three different blogs, and each blog that you nominate may be nominated in as many categories as you like.  You also have to supply a valid e-mail address so that they know you are not a robot, and you may only submit one nomination form so think before you nominate! Read the complete rules here and check out Amatomu for some inspiring South African blogs to nominate. And if you click the pic below, you will find that Cooksister has already been filled in for you in the relevant categories!  Just nominate two other blogs in the categories of your choice, enter your e-mail and submit.

THE BLOGGERAID COOKBOOK It seems that a large chunk of my spare time lately has been taken up with working on this very exciting project together with my blog pal Val.  In case you have been on a silent mountain retreat for the past few months and have still not heard about it, BloggerAid is publishing an all-singing, all-dancing full-colour cookbook and all the money raised is going to the UN World Food Project.  We are still in the collecting recipes stage, so please please do try and send us something.  All we ask is that it must be an original recipe (so it can be your old family recipe for apple cake, but not a recipe from a book or website), and that you submit it to us in Word format.  A picture is good, but don’t fret if you don’t have one – our team can recreate your dish and photograph it for you! See this post for all the details.

ONE FOR THE SAFFERS  If you are a South African or live in South Africa, you will know what a lawless scourge the minibus taxi industry has become.  These guys appear to be motivated solely by profit and do not care one tiny bit for the safety of their customers – or anybody else.  Well over 20 people are regularly crammed into 16-seater mini-buses, drivers drive drunk or without licenses, and don’t even think twice about running a red light or driving the wrong way up a dual carriageway to avoid a queue.  Last week outside my old university in Port Elizabeth, a drunk minibus driver hit a 19-year old student Jason Kruger on a pedestrian crossing and dragged him for 30 metres before stopping. Jason survived with a fractured skull, arm and collarbone; missing teeth; and all the ligaments in his hands torn, but died from bleeding on the brain a few days later in hospital.  His father and I were friends at university almost 20 years ago and I cannot begin to comprehend how he and his wife must feel.  The university has started a petition to get the municipality (who seem resolutely determined not to enforce the rules of the road when it comes to taxis) to allow university staff to police traffi on this stretch of road.  It takes about ten seconds to add your name to the 5,000+ people who have already signed.  Please help to make sure this never happens again – you never know when you or someone you love will end up in a taxi’s firing line.

Enough voice-of-your-conscience stuff for one day – on to the food!  Although it is rumoured to be Spring and some of the trees around here are perfuming the air with tiny white blossoms, the weather still has a distinct chill to it.  What better dish to warm the cockles of your heart (or the heart of your cockles!) here at the tail end of winter than soup.  I can’t remember any more how I came across Jan’s lovely blog What Do I Want To Cook Today?, but I do recall that our first conversation was about growing chilli plants! Since then I’ve been a faithful reader, and recently when she posted a recipe for cauliflower soup with chorizo, it was love and bookmarking at first sight.  The recipe below is my slightly adapted version of Jan’s original:  I roasted the cauliflower instead of steaming, to concentrate the flavours, and added sage to the chorizo (although the sage seems to have disappeared in my pics!).  The sweet nuttiness of the cauliflower and the spicy chorizo sausage are a match made in heaven – thanks for the inspiration Jan!




2 medium cauliflowers (about 4 cups of florets)
olive oil
600ml whole fat milk
600ml chicken stock
150g diced spicy chorizo
6 fresh sage leaves
salt and black pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Wash and chop the cauliflower into florets.

Toss the florets in enough olive oil to coat them lightly, then turn out onto a baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast for 15-20 minutes , turning once, until the florets begin to soften and brown at the edges.

Transfer the cauliflower to a large saucepan and mash with a potato masher.  Add the stock and milk and over medium heat, bring the mixture just to the boil.  Then turn remove from the heat and blend using a wand mixer until the soup is as smooth or as chunky as you like.  If too thick, add more stock or milk.  Add salt and pepper to taste and return to a low heat, keeping the soup at a gentle simmer.

Wash and chop the fresh sage leaves and dice the chorizo into small pieces.  Gently fry them together in a hot pan until both leaves and chorizo begin to crisp.

Spoon the soup into bowls and top each bowl with a spoonful of the chorizo and sage blend.  Serve with crusty bread.

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  1. says

    Wow! This post was really loaded with a lot of information. I’m terribly sorry to hear about Jason, but I think it’s great you are trying to use your blog to make a change.
    Hope all is well.

  2. says

    Here in CApe Town the taxi feud is still going on and I am horrified if I think of 2010, but as you’ve said, the taxi bosses are driven by profit and not what will be good for our ALL our people!!!
    I am glad you are in one piece…sounds like fun, please reveal all!!! Fantastic soup, well done!!!

  3. says

    I am so glad to hear there were no broken bones and no incidents of crying on the ski slopes, Jeanne. I have started considering cross-country, but there is a stubborn part of me that still wants to master downhill. It sounds like you are well on your way.
    Those taxi drivers are a scourge, and the worst thing is that since public transport is so unreliable, people have to take their lives in the hands daily and actually use them. I am so sorry to hear about your friend’s son. What a tragic story.
    I am low-carbing up a storm en route to South Africa and my trusty bikini, and this soup is a dream – I will be making it this weekend! For low-carb, I’d remove the milk and do a pint of cream, but the idea of cauli and chorizo together is fabulous.

  4. says

    Thank you for mentioning the BloggerAid cookbook Jeanne. Recipes are still coming in and we have other things up our sleeves to make the cookbook, bigger, better, THE BEST!!!Glad you had a successful skiing holiday. This osup would have warmed you up after a day on the slopes!!

  5. says

    That cauliflower soup sounds wonderful and is almost (but not quite) enough to distract me from my insane envy at your ski trip. It sounds fabulous (and I’m not even that keen on downhill skiing). One thing though… only ONE cheese fondue?!
    Thanks for the note about the cookbook, Jeanne. I have been remiss in my reading and am really pleased to learn of it (now to find one of our recipes that we’re excited about but HAVEN’T already published!)

  6. says

    Jeanne, thank you for this interesting post. It struck a real chord with me because just two weeks ago, the brother of one of my dearest schoolfriends – a person I have known since I was 13 – was tragically killed by a speeding mini-bus taxi on Witkoppen Road, near Sunninghill Park, in Johannesburg. The taxi was brazenly and illegally driving on the wrong side of the road, directly towards oncoming traffic, and the result was a devastating head-on collision between my friend’s motorbike and the taxi: both drivers died in the fireball that resulted, and there were many serious injuries among passengers.
    A whole family, and hundreds of people, have beeen devastated by this event.
    Thanks for highlighting the problem.

  7. says

    Glad to hear you had a great hols Jeanne – but it’s good to have you back!
    I’m so sorry to hear about Jason – I will of course sign the petition and hopefully it will make a difference.
    Soooo pleased you made a version of the cauliflower soup! Your version sounds double yummy with the added sage!
    Ps: Yep chili plant is still going strong thanks to you and your advice!

  8. says

    That is really awful, what happened to your friend’s son. I signed the petition immediately and I’m sure the 5000 signatures will be collected in no time.
    I’m glad you had a great vacation, and it’s nice to have you back, and welcoming us with a nutritious (relatively low-fat, heh) and delicious soup!

  9. Jodi says

    I’m a South African still here and sometimes I wonder why. The roads are a horrible place here and they seem to get worse and worse. I ave added my name to the petition but I wish there was more we could do.
    On a brighter note, that soup looks absolutely delish – I love the spicyness of chorizo so that with the cauliflower must be beautiful.

  10. says

    I have a head of cauliflower and this may be what I need to make this weekend. Im sorry about your friends child senseless death.
    Glad you came back in one piece form the slopes.

  11. says

    cauliflower certainly needs a lot of help in my kitchen to be rendered edible, and tossing in some sausage would do the trick quite nicely. it’s beautiful, jeanne!

  12. says

    Seems you had fun in the mountains…enough champagne to keep the legs from breaking. A lovely soup…I was wondering what to do with the cauliflower I bought this morning(I’m not a fan of it)..

  13. says

    i love roasted cauli (usually mixed with broccoli plus bashed garlic and coriander seeds) but would never have thought to turn it into a soup – thanks for the inspiration!