Cauliflower Leek Soup

cauliflower leek soup

Because of my ongoing quest for soup recipes, and because of my newly acquired blender I have been searching for more puréed soup recipes. The ingredients are really simple, so in my opinion the success of this recipe depends largely on using a quality broth. I used my homemade chicken stock, but you could use a flavourful vegetable one to make it a vegan recipe. I make up a big batch of stock, then freeze it in portions to use in future soup recipes. A bit of work to do ahead of time, but it’s really handy and makes better soups.

I found this recipe on freshtart.com, and I made two changes: I cut the amount of oil in half (1 tablespoon per portion is too much for me), and I didn’t serve it with the fried shrimp on top, although this sounds yummy.

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 heaping cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth (homemade is always best)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 generous handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chives, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt to taste

What you do:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the leek to it and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf.
  4. Place the spinach and chives in the blender, then add the cauliflower and broth and purée until smooth. If the liquid is hot it will make a bit of an explosion, se be careful. You could purée on very low to start, then allow some steam to escape, and then continue until it is smooth.
  5. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Drizzle with a little olive oil to serve, and add some minced chives for garnish if you like.

Cauliflower and Roasted Fennel Soup

cauliflower and roasted fennel soup - trust in kim

Well, I will definitely be making this soup again! The roasted fennel gives it some depth of flavour without tasting overly like anise.  It is smooth and creamy without any dairy or dairy substitutes.  You have the option of making it vegan, as the original recipe was, but I used chicken stock instead of vegetable.

The recipe is from Brian L. Patton’s Sexy Vegan Cookbook. I’m always happy to add healthy and delicious soups to my repertoire!

What you need:

1 fennel bulb

2 teaspoons olive oil + a little for roasting the fennel

1 cup chopped sweet onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 russet potato, peeled and cut into chunks of about 2 cm

3 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I needed more than this so I added some water bouillon)

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Cut the stalks off the fennel and set them aside.  Chop the fennel bulb in half and rub it with a little olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place cut-side down on a baking tray.  Roast the fennel for 30-40 minutes, or until browned and tender.  Remove from the oven and cut into large chunks.

2. While the fennel is roasting begin making the rest of the soup.  Heat a large pot on medium heat and add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Add the onion, sliced fennel stalks and a pinch of salt.  Cook for 4-6 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 4 minutes.  Add the potato, cauliflower and enough stock to cover the vegetables, and bring to a simmer. When the fennel is roasted, add it as well.  Cook until the cauliflower and potatoes are very tender.

3. Puree the soup (I used an immersion blender, but a food processor or blender work as well) until very smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spaghetti Squash with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

I love the idea of spaghetti squash, but I find it doesn’t have quite enough flavour on its own.  As my friend Meredyth says, sundried tomatoes make everything better.  I feel the same way about olives.  This easy recipe isn’t shy on taste, and it is super healthy and all-vegetable.  And  nut.  Okay, and olives are actually a fruit . . . but you get the point.

What you need:

1 spaghetti squash

6 sundried tomatoes

1 lemon, juice and zest

2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped basil

1/2 clove garlic, finely diced

about a dozen kalamata olives

1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

What you do:

1.  Cut the squash in half, scoop the seeds out and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes.

2.  While the squash is baking toast the pine nuts.

3.  When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes, until it is cool enough to handle.

4.  Combine the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, basil, sundried tomatoes, olives, garlic and basil.

5.  Remove the squash from the shells by scraping with a fork.  Add the other ingredients to the squash.

Ready, easy and yummy!