Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Soup

Cauliflower, the often forgotten Crucifer, is abundant in antioxidant & anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals. This detoxifying soup is the perfect dish to warm up a cool evening.

1 large cauliflower, cut into florets¾ cup activated* almonds

4 tablespoons ghee**, melted

¼ cup flaked almonds

1 large brown onion, chopped

2 leeks, white part only, rinsed and chopped

6 large garlic gloves, chopped

6 cups organic chicken*** stock

juice & zest of 2 lemons

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut 1 cup of cauliflower into very small florets and set aside.Place the remaining cauliflower florets and almonds on a lined baking tray. Coat with 1 tablespoon of the melted ghee and season well with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until the almonds are golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the remaining cauliflower and then the flaked almonds and cook until golden. Transfer to a paper towel and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, leek and garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the roasted cauliflower and almonds, also add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 20 mins. Add the lemon zest and juice, and any remaining salt and pepper. Using a food processor or stick blender mix to form a soup.

Divide the soup among bowls and sprinkle with the fried cauliflower florets, flaked almonds and thyme.


* May use blanched almonds as an alternative

** Ghee may be substituted for butter or coconut oil

*** May substitute with vegetable stock

Poached Pears in Red Wine

Poached Pears in Red Wine is an elegant but classic dessert to prepare. The red wine sauce is so muscatel sweet that you will find yourself savouring every last drip and licking the sauce off your fingers! Ensure your pears are firm but not hard. Beurre Bosc or Corella pears are perfect for this dish. A good quality red wine is essential for this recipe and there will be an extra glass or two for you to enjoy while you are waiting for your pears to poach. Red wine in moderation is beneficial for your health with the main constituents polyphenolic compounds in red wine, such as flavonoids and resveratrol lowering your risk of developing atherosclerosis by as much as 30% through antioxidant activity, reductions in inflammation, increases in HDL good cholesterol and reductions in the formation of fatty plaques. While research indicates cardiovascular health benefits this does not advocate that you begin drinking to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease! There are more healthier ways to lower your risk of developing heart disease by maintaining a healthy body weight, the cessation of smoking, exercising, consuming a healthy balanced diet with lean proteins, leafy greens, fruits, whole grains and monosaturated fats.

Poached Pears in Red Wine

4-6 large beurre bosc or 8 small corella pears, firm

2.5 cups of red wine (shiraz, merlot)

1 1/3 cup of castor sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 inch piece of orange peel or zest

2 inch piece of lemon zest

Thick cream or vanilla bean yogurt to serve

Place the red wine, castor sugar, cinnamon sticks and zests into the saucepan that fit the pears snug. Slowly bring to the boil and dissolve all the sugar, stirring occasionally until boiling. Reduce to a simmer.

Meanwhile peel the pears and ensure your remove all the skin as this will not colour. Trim around the stalks so this is a clean and neat finish.

Trim the bottom of the pear so that it sits straight up right on the plate.

Add the pears to the saucepan and cook gently turning three or four times during cooking.

Cooking time depends on how big your pears are but allow 15-25 mins.

Remove the pears from the liquid once cooked and soft to pierce into the centre.

Reduce the remaining syrup for 5-10 minutes until thick and syrupy.

Place the pear onto the plate and serve with some thick cream or vanilla bean yogurt.

Gently pour the syrupy red wine sauce over the top of the pear.