Feed your hunger and your health

Posted on: 5th October, 2017

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

‘Cauliflowers on Mars, a sign of ancient life’ is a headline that I came across whilst googling cauliflowers. I don’t know about Mars but this alien looking vegetable has a habit of popping up expectedly in our garden. We do plant them, no question about that, but instead of arriving in November, which is what the seed packet promised, this year they arrived at the end of August

The end of August/September is when our ‘Mediterranean ‘ department is yielding its booty. Tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, green beans, pumpkins … tempting us with memories of sunshine and somehow the cauliflower takes the back seat. Such a back seat that all of a sudden we have 15 cauliflowers needing attention.

Cauliflowers have many merits. They are anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants, high in fibre and contain sulforaphane, a substance that can kill cancer stem cells and improve blood pressure and kidney function so there are plenty of reasons to eat them.

We’ve enjoyed cauliflower ‘couscous’, fritters, curry, salads and now we’re on to soup.

As the trees are bending sideways with the wind this afternoon, soup seems like a good call. This soup is lightly spiced, just enough to wonder what’s there, and served with a drizzle of parsley picada.

The picada could as easily be a little basil pesto if you have some lurking in the fridge or even just chopped herbs, I just happened to have some parsley picada at hand

Perfect for autumn days!

Cauliflower Soup
with Parsley


1 medium cauliflower

1 onion

2 stems celery

1 large potato

half a bulb of fennel

750mls vegetable stock – or enough to cover the vegetables

200mls almond milk or milk

juice of half a lemon

½ tsp garam masala

salt and pepper.

The picada;

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

20 blanched almonds

1 slice white bread

a bunch parsley, roughly chopped

about 100mls olive oil


Peel and chop the onion. Put a pan on a medium heat, add a little olive oil – enough to just cover the bottom of the pan and the onion. Give it a stir and leave it cook whilst you prepare the other vegetables. Wash the celery and cut lengthwise into three or four strips then chop into a fine dice. Add to the pan. Slice the fennel thinly and add to the pan. Keep stirring the vegetables. They should be sizzling but not browning. Peel and dice the potatoes. Stir into the pan with a little salt.

Wash the cauliflower. Discard the very thick piece of the stem then chop the smaller stems into small pieces. Add the stems to the pot then chop the florets and stir in. Cook everything together for five minutes to soften. Add the vegetable stock – enough to cover the vegetables but not drown them.

Stir in a half teaspoon of garam masala and bring to the boil then simmer for fifteen minutes. Blend to smooth puree then stir in enough almond milk or milk to make a smooth soup. Season with salt and pepper. Taste then add a squeeze of lemon juice – enough to brighten the flavours up.

Serve with a swirl of picada, pesto or herbs on top.

To make the picada

Remove the crusts from the bread and cut into cubes. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry the bread until golden.

Put the fried bread, almonds and garlic into a food processor and buzz to a fine crumb. Slowly pour in enough olive oil to make a loose paste. Season with a little salt, and stir in the chopped parsley

Any left overs can be spooned over pasta, potatoes, grilled fish or chicken….

Check our ad or pop into the shop for more details.

Here’s to cosy soup days.

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Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
email bandonwalledtown@gmail.com
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

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