Cauliflower Stalk Soup au Pistou

Cauliflower stalks need not be discarded to the compost heap or simply fed to the pigs!

A simple, delicious and nutritious soup can be made by simply simmering chopped stalks with onion in bouillion. Served with a pistou for a punch of flavour - gorgeous!

Let's get pistou'd up ...

Pistou? Don't you mean pesto? No! I mean pistou - the French blend of garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil and a little salt. That's how you make it - quick and easy! Use lots of basil and a good number of cloves of garlic, blending together while pouring in extra virgin olive oil, salting to taste.

That's the pistou ... now the soup.

Clean up the cauliflower stalks, trimming the leaves to about half an inch either side of the stalk for the outer stalks and leaving the inner stalks intact with leaves. Chop the stalks into really thin slices.

Slice an onion into really thin slices and add to a pan of hot bouillon along with the cauliflower stalks.

Bouillon? Oh, come on ... what's wrong with salted water? Well, a bouillon is a broth made from a simmering of mirepoix, bouquet garni and some bones. Mirepoix? Bouquet garni? Now you're really taking the pistou! Here's a cheat - you can buy powered bouillion which only needs a generous tablespoon in a litre of water. If you wanted to make up your own, it's onion, celery and carrots (the mirepoix), thyme, bay and sage tied together (the bouquet garni), some bones and water - simmer for a few hours to extract all the flavour, freeze excess as appropriate.

Anyway, to get back to the point in hand ... simply simmer the onion and cauliflower stalk for a few minutes until softened, while retaining a little crunch.

Serve into a wide bowl and drop a generous spoonful of pistou into the middle.

C'est si bon! Non?


  1. Paul, this has to fall into the category of "why didn't I think of that?

    I have never thought much about a use for cauliflower stalks, but here we are! I suspect it will also work well for broccoli stalks, though maybe not together.

    I have become a convert of the power of bone broth to flavour almost anything savoury, though I have not tried the mirepoix way.

    I do my bone broth in a slow cooker, but quite a few people, and one restaurant, swear by doing it in a pressure cooker.

    But, any way you do it, it's light years ahead of store bought, dry bouillion!

    1. This, with bone broth would be absolutely superb!

      Yes, it would work with broccoli stalk, too - sliced through, their shape is quite pretty. Have fun ...