Continuing my love affair with cauliflower, I wanted to make a soup that was creamy and dairy-free. Rather than using potato to add creaminess and thickness, I pureed a can of cannelini beans. Adding the beans for protein also made it into a soup I could use as my main dish for lunch.
Roasting cauliflower brings out its sweetness; if you’ve never roasted a cauliflower before, you’re going to want to give this a try, and you might become as addicted to it as I am.
I crisped some sage leafs as a garnish when I first served it, but for a subsequent serving fried up a little chorizo and arranged it on top. Now I think a combination would probably be perfection.
What you need:
1 large cauliflower
1 garlic bulb
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons fresh sage, plus more for garnishing
salt and pepper
What you do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. As soon as you’ve turned it on you can toss in a bulb of garlic. Just slice off the end, wrap it in foil and throw it in the oven.
2. Cut the cauliflower into florets and then cut the larger ones in half if you need to. Roast for 25-40 minutes, or until the cauliflower has browned slightly.
3. While the cauliflower and garlic are roasting, heat the broth in a large pot.
4. Drain the cannelini beans and add them to the broth, and then add the sage.
5. Chop the leeks into rounds, rinse them, then add them to the broth. Bring this to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.
6. When the cauliflower is ready, add it to the broth. The garlic should be ready when the cauliflower is done, so unwrap it from the foil and squeeze it into the pot as well. Let this simmer for about 10 minutes.
7. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup for several minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8. For the garnish, heat a little olive oil in a small frying pan. Add several sage leaves and fry them until they have crisped. They can turn brown pretty quickly, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the pan while they are still green. Arrange on top of each serving of soup.
This soup freezes well, so you can make a big batch to save for a rainy day. It’ll warm you right up.