Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Scallop Flakes
I first started using dried scallops in my cooking when I was making XO sauce but soon after I started just soaking the scallops and stir frying them with snow peas and beans. They have this really unique flavour that adds saltiness to your food. First time I made this, it was more of a fluke than anything else but once I realised how much flavour the crispy scallop flakes added to the cauliflower soup I was hooked. If you want a richer soup, you can use cream instead of milk but I rarely have cream sitting in my fridge. A big batch of this soup sits well in the fridge for the week and you can use other toppings like dukkah or pesto to substitute for the scallops.
1kg cauliflower, cut into florets
400g potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 anchovy fillets
1/2 onion, finely diced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for serving
5 cups water
1/2 cup full cream milk
50g dried scallops, soaked in water overnight
Parsley, finely chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat before adding onions and cooking till softend and translucent. Add anchovy fillets into the pot and break them apart with a wooden spoon. Add in cauliflower florets and potato into the pot and pour in the water. You may need to use less water but you’re aiming to not completely submerge all the vegetables. As they cook, they’ll break down and you can push them down with a wooden spoon. It’s easier to add extra water but once you’ve got too much liquid, you’ll end up with a very runny soup. Stir everything together and bring to a gentle boil before reducing the heat to simmer till the cauliflower and potatoes soften.
Whilst the soup is cooking, drain the scallops and pat dry with paper towel. Break the scallops into small flaky pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the scallop pieces into the oil. Fry until the scallops start to become crispy but be careful not to burn them. Place the scallops on paper towel to absorb any extra oil and set aside.
When the cauliflower and potatoes have softened in the soup, remove the pot off the heat and blend everything together with a stick blender. Heat up the milk in the microwave till it’s just above room temperature. Add to the pot and blend together. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add more water. Season the soup with salt.
To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and top with the scallop pieces, parlsey and a drizzle of olive oil.