Chilled cauliflower, almond and capsicum soup with sherry tapenade, by Peter Gordon

15 January 2010
Chilled cauliflower, almond and capsicum soup with sherry tapenade, by Peter Gordon

Peter Gordon is the executive chef of the Providores and Tapa Room in London.

(serves six to eight)

  • 1 white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, seeds and stalk removed, flesh sliced 1cm thick
  • 2tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2tbs fresh thyme
  • 1 small cauliflower, all green parts removed, the remainder cut into 1cm thick pieces, stalk and all
  • 100g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 500ml milk
  • 1tbs tarragon leaves
  • ½ cup pitted black or green olives, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • Small handful of flat parsley leaves, shredded
  • 2tbs sherry (Oloroso or fino would work well)


In a wide pan sauté the onion and peppers in the olive oil until they just begin to colour. Add three cloves of the garlic, the thyme, cauliflower and almonds and cook, stirring often, for five minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then put a lid on and simmer until the cauliflower is barely cooked. Add the milk and tarragon to the pan and bring to a simmer then take it off the heat and leave to cool. Purée in a blender, not a food processor, until smooth, season it, and then place in the fridge to chill for at least five hours. While the soup is chilling, pound the reserved garlic, olives, lemon zest and parsley to a paste then mix in the sherry. Store covered in the fridge.

To serve, taste the soup for seasoning and ladle into chilled bowls then dollop on the tapenade.

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