Look what I found!


It’s always exciting when new and exotic ingredients make their way to South African shores. I always ogle the organic aisle at Woolworths where these precious gems abide. Not that I am a particular stickler for all things organic, but I do find the produce always looks a bit happier than their ordinary ‘inferiors’. It was here, whilst looking at the Rainbow Spinach (yes there is such a thing – and it’s breath-taking), the Shiraz Mange Tout and Baby Aubergines, that I came across the most intricately designed natural food stuff I have ever seen. The label read, Romanesco, and at just R16.99, I had to make it mine.

After a quick research of the vegetable, I discovered that it predates both Cauliflower and Broccoli, who are a part of its family – and hails from Italy. Isn’t that interesting?

Here is a recipe for a soup that I made using the Romanesco. Naturally I realise it is not a readily available vegetable, but it tastes so similar to cauliflower that it can be substituted with one instead. Happy Cooking!

Romanesco & Leek Soup

Serves 6           Takes approx. 30mins


1 head of Romanesco (or Cauliflower), roughly chopped
4 Baby Onions, finely diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
6 Baby Leeks, finely chopped
1.5 liter Vegetable Stock
1 liter Water
1 cup frozen Corn
125g Sour Cream
30g Butter, unsalted
Handful Fresh Thyme
1 Lemon, juice
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil


Firstly, boil the kettle and make up your vegetable stock. Prepare all your vegetables and then put a large pot on the stove and heat.

Add the butter, and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. To this, add the leeks, onions, garlic and thyme. Cook gently for about 10mins until softened. Add the broken down Romanesco, or Cauliflower, and cook further for about 2 minutes.

Pour in the stock and water, and put a lid on the pot. Leave to simmer for about 10mins. Now toss in the cup of corn, and cook for a further 2mins. Taste, and season accordingly.

Turn off the heat, swirl in the sour cream and squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Pour the contents of the pot into the food processor and blitz until smooth. Alternatively, using a stick blender, do so in the pot.

Serve with a further swirl of sour cream, a drizzle of good olive oil and some freshly cracked pepper.


  1. Sugarlow says:

    What a beautiful vegetable – in one’s imagination it could easily be grown in the forests of Pandora!

  2. Annandcats says:

    What an absolutely stunning looking (vegetable sounds so common for this number) miracle of nature.

  3. Amy T says:

    That is absolutely extraordinary. Beyond what I could imagine for a normally rather unattractive vegetable variety…

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