There’s nothing I love more than a piping hot bowl of soup on winter evenings – there’s just something relaxing and comforting about them. I love ‘em because they look simple but can have bold flavor. And, most importantly, they don’t make a mess all over my kitchen (just a cutting board and a pot needed!). If you know me, you know that I’m kind of a neat freak in the kitchen. My college days watching Food Network and Rachel Ray taught me the incredible usefulness of a “garbage bowl” for food prep. While I can’t promise you won’t make a mess in your kitchen making this Cauliflower Leek Soup, I CAN promise you it’ll please.
I took some inspiration from one of my favorite health bloggers, Tess Masters of Healthy Blender Recipes, and her latest cookbook The Blender Girl. I was lucky enough to see her for a cooking class while on her book tour here in Kansas City and let me tell you, her cauliflower leek soup is ridiculously good. Seriously good. Get her cookbook and start blending. Best part about her recipes are that they can be made in ANY blender…no need for a fancy schmancy Vitamix (my personal favorite though). I used her cauliflower leek soup as a guide made it my own with some of my personal favorite flavors: lemon, nutritional yeast, extra nutmeg, and a hint of chili powder.
Top that with crispy leeks and toasted almonds and you’ve got yourself a bowl of goodness.
Like kale, cauliflower is a cruciferous veg and can help support our body’s natural detoxification process. It is also high in the antioxidants Vitamin C (hello, immune support this winter!), manganese and a slew of phytonutrients. Cauliflower is also rich in the inflammatory response regulator, Vitamin K. Plus, cauliflower fiber-rich for happy tummies.
Never had a leek before? They’re a close relative to onions and garlic, also part of the allium family, and I think they look like an green onion on steroids. Use mostly the white and light green parts (the darker green becomes tough) and be sure to let them sit for 3-5 minutes after chopping as this maximizes their nutrient quality – when exposed to air, much like garlic, the nutrient allicin is formed, which provides antimicrobial benefits.
Quick, before we get to the recipe, let’s do a quick game of “I Spy Dianna” in the image above…do you see me?!! Whoops!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 leeks, chopped and rinsed well
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 whole nutmeg, grated (about 1/2-1 teaspoon if using ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add in the leeks and garlic, cooking for 3 minutes, and season with sea salt.
- Add in the cauliflower, cooking for 3 minutes before adding in the vegetable broth. Simmer covered for 10-15 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.
- Stir in the lemon juice and cook 2 more minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the stockpot, or carefully transfer the hot soup into a blender. Blend until smooth; soup should be creamy and slightly thick. If too thick, thin with 1/4 cup extra broth at a time until desired consistency achieved.
- While soup is still in blender (or stockpot), add in grated nutmeg, chili powder, and nutritional yeast. Blend again to mix well.
- Serve soup hot and top with roasted almonds and pan-fried leeks.
Hope you all have a great, warm week! Can you believe it’s the last week of January already? Before we know it, Spring will have sprung. I’ve already begun to plan for the garden, and I.CAN’T.WAIT.