15th June 2012
Spare Eggs, Truffles and Callum
Truffled cauliflower soup closeup

Flora came around for dinner and brought her spare eggs (hen's eggs, I'm not suggesting some kind of insemination troika here) and, unexpectedly, Callum.
Callum hasn't eaten at Chez Karl before.
Welcome Callum - a new guest to add to my collection!

Last weekend I was buying liquorice roots in Real Foods, and had my eye caught by a basket of summer truffles, ingeniously placed by the till. Since they were pretty cheap (summer truffles are very definitely black truffles' poor relations), I decided to give one a good home, and finally dust off my copy of Truffles - Ultimate Luxury - Everyday Pleasure - a Border's bargain cookbook I've had around for a long time without ever opening it.
The book has no particular summer truffle recipe, but I rather fancied trying out their less fragrant, more earthy tones with a cauliflower base so I adapted a Cream of Cauliflower Soup with White Truffle. Which seems a more authentic approach anyway - since white truffle oil doesn't actually contain any truffle as you know.

I wanted to avoid boiling the truffle, and just added it for the final heating. I thought I'd finely slice the whole truffle, but to be honest the crunchiness is slightly distracting and the actual flavour of the truffle is practically non-existent. It's also quite tedious - the truffles are really hard! So I prepared a few nice slices to use as a garnish and then grated the rest of the truffle as finely as I could on a nutmeg grater. When you add it to warming soup and the truffle fires up you get a terrific earthy musk.

I couldn't think of anything very exciting (and seemly) to do with Flora's eggs, so we just had Brie omelette, but I did make up some coleslaw using up the horseradish cream I had lying around from my pastrami sandwiches at Port Edgar's two-handed race.
It goes pretty well with omelettes I suppose, if you like coleslaw. Could have done with some chips though.
Hmmmmmmmmm. Chips.

Homemade coleslaw and truffle soup - Callum wanted to know if I cooked like this every night.
Isn't he sweet?

Cream of Cauliflower Soup with White Truffle
Or in this case, Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Black Truffle.

Serves 4

Melt the butter in a large heavy pot over a moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the stock, cauliflower, potato, salt, and white pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower and potato are very soft, 17 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Puree the soup, in batches if necessary, in a blender or food processor. (The soup can be made ahead to this point, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream.
Grate in the summer truffle, if using, with a nutmeg or other fine grater. Reserve some thin slices of the truffle for garnish.
Heat over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until hot; do not boil. Season with additional salt to taste. Remove from the heat and stir in the truffle oil until well blended.

Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle a little extra truffle oil over the top of each one. Garnish and serve.
The stock I used was very rich and might have been beef, but the soup was still delicious. I used a grated summer truffle which imparts a delightful aroma when warmed with the cream (though the slices have no discernable flavour). Allow the soup enough gentle warming time for the flavour to appear.

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