Meatless Monday – Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup

Cauliflower Leek Soup2

Craving a bowl of luscious, creamy rib sticking soup but don’t want the extra calories or carbs?  Well this is it! This yummy creation tastes like a delicious, creamy potato soup but without potatoes or cream. Cauliflower has worked so well as a healthy stand in for so many carbs like rice, potatoes and other grains that I thought to give my  Old Fashioned Potato Soup recipe a cauliflower update.  Pureeing some or all of the cooked cauliflower and vegetable broth into a smooth and creamy consistency makes it easy to omit the cream.  You will swear its loaded with cream but it is actually vegan (unless you top it with parmesan).  I loved this soup topped with a drizzle of herb oil whose sharp tang melds nicely with the creaminess of the soup and dry roasted pepitos that add a satisfying crunch.  Parmesan is another yummy option that adds a salty, creamy dimension.  Purists can top with salt and pepper or swirl in a pat of butter for an even creamier consistency. Yum!

Cauliflower Leek Soup13

I paired this yummy soup with a green salad for a completely satisfying meal.  My husband, who often doesn’t feel full without some kind of meat, really enjoyed it and, best of all, wasn’t back at the refrigerator 45 minutes after dinner, which is really telling. Did you know that a head of cauliflower is actually made up of tightly clustered florets which are flowers that begin to form but are halted at bud stage.  They stay white because they are protected from the sun by their leaves, otherwise they would turn green through photosynthesis.  In addition to being cool science,  cauliflower is a wonderful addition to our diet.   It is low in calories and fat, with zero cholesterol but rich in fiber, vitamins (including B complex and C), minerals (manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium) and phytonutrients which are key to a healthy immune system and thought to be good cancer fighters.  Cauliflower is mild in taste which makes it extremely adaptable in cooking. You could call it the chameleon of vegetables.

Check out other GMD  recipes where cauliflower reigns (or fools, however you want to look at it): cauliflower ‘pizza’, ‘pasta’ and ‘rice’.

Cauliflower Pizza

Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Cauliflower Mac Cheese15

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Tabouleh7

Tabouleh – Grain Free

 

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER LEEK SOUP

Cauliflower and Leek Soup3

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 leek
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 quart vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt (if needed)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil(optional)
2 tablespoons minced chives or green part of scallions(optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or other fresh herbs(optional)
1/2 cup pepitos (shelled pumpkin seeds)(optional)
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded (optional)

Cauliflower Leek Soup11

  • Cut end off leek and slice in half lengthwise. Rinse under running water while fanning the sections of the leek like a deck of cards to remove any grit. Remove dark green leaves and chop white and light green parts.

cAULIFLOWER Leek Soup9

  • Core cauliflower and chop into small florets.
  • In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons olive oil, chives, and herbs, if using. Set aside to marinate.

Cauliflower Leek Soup10

  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks, and onions, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and wine. Cook, stirring, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.

Cauliflower Leek Soup8

  • Stir in cauliflower and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cauliflower Leek Soup6

  • While cauliflower is cooking, dry roast pepitos in a small pan over medium heat for several minutes, or until golden and aromatic.  Let cool.

Cauliflower Leek Soup7

  • In 2 or  3 batches, puree soup in a food processor or blender until very smooth, several minutes. You can puree the whole soup for a velvety smooth texture, or, you can leave about a third of the florets for a chunkier, more ‘potato like’ consistency, (i.e. blend 2 batches and leave the last chunky). Stir together and add salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower leek Soup4

  •  Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle herb oil and top with pepitos and parmesan cheese, if desired.  If you want an even creamier consistency, swirl in a pat of butter before serving.

Cauliflower and Leek Soup3

Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cauliflower Leek Soup1

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 leek
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 quart vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt (if needed)
2 tablespoons olive oil(optional)
2 tablespoons minced chives or green part of scallions(optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or other fresh herbs(optional)
1/2 cup pepitos (shelled pumpkin seeds)(optional)
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded (optional)

  • Cut end off leek and slice in half lengthwise. Rinse under running water while fanning the sections of the leek like a deck of cards to remove any grit. Remove dark green leaves and chop white and light green parts.
  • Core cauliflower and chop into small florets.
  • In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons olive oil, chives, and parsley, if using. Set aside to marinate.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks, and onions, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and wine. Cook, stirring, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in cauliflower and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • While cauliflower is cooking, dry roast pepitos in a small pan over medium heat for several minutes, or until golden and aromatic.  Let cool.
  • In 2 or  3 batches, puree soup in a food processor or blender until very smooth, several minutes. You can puree the whole soup for a velvety smooth texture, or, you can leave about a third of the florets for a chunkier, more ‘potato like’ consistency, (i.e. blend 2 batches and leave the last chunky). Stir together and add salt and pepper to taste.
  •  Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle herb oil and top with pepitos and parmesan cheese, if desired.  If you want an even creamier consistency, swirl in at of butter before serving.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s