150 g raw Australian almonds, soaked in boiling water until the skins soften½ cup good quality sherry vinegar (plus a touch more to taste if needed)⅓ cup raisins100 g stale bread, crusts removed but kept2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for finishing)2 shallots, finely sliced5 cloves garlic, finely sliced¼ cup white wine1 cauliflower cut into florets (1 kg) reserving the small leaves1.5 litres water (or stock)1–2 veg stock cubes (optional)Salt flakesGround white pepper
Top tip: This will work with any bread, from sourdough to sliced white, to ciabatta. If you’re worried that yours is a little too hard to blitz, warm up 200 ml of the stock and soak the bread in it before adding to your blender or food processor.
It’s time to turn this traditionally chilled Spanish soup into a velvety winter-warmer to chase the chills away. Since it’s not just bread that deserves to be saved from the compost, you’ll be making full use of the cauliflower, leaves and all. As for the almond skins, they’ll be going hell for leather with the bread crusts to become a delicious salt and sherry vinegary crunchy topping. This is a great soup to prepare in advance and you can store the garnishes separately for sprinkling just before serving.
Recipe by Alice Zaslavsky for Sustainability Victoria
Alice Zaslavsky encourages people of all ages to find the joy in cooking and eating. She is the author of a number of best-selling cookbooks and co-hosts foodie radio talkback segments. Her television credits span multiple networks and demographics as host of Kitchen Whiz, Crunch Time, Short Cuts to Glory and Good Food Christmas. Her guest appearances include BBC Breakfast, Postcards, Freshly Picked with Simon Toohey and MasterChef Australia.