Monday, November 4, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup

Pillivuyt onion soup bowls, Sabre Natura flatware

I'm not the biggest fan of cauliflower because I find it completely bland and uninspirational - it's the lesser cousin of broccoli and the unfortunate spawn of the cabbage. There is a reason no one ever talks about the cauliflower - it's dull and only works with bacon or cheese in a regular meal. That being said, being part of a local and seasonal delivery service forces me to do interesting things with vegetables I would otherwise blatantly ignore (beets are another horrifying example).

This cauliflower soup recipe has been my go-to for years and years because it's really, really easy and quick, and a really good way to spend the evening on a cold night with a bottle of wine. It's the best way to get rid of excess cauliflower (like when your mother decides one year to go on a mad cauliflower growing spree). The cauliflower in the soup is still as dull, but throwing in a little bit of curry powder and gruyere makes this enjoyable. A lot of people use heavy cream to make things palatable, but I'm using a russet potato to make it healthier - you're not really missing out on anything, and the extra vegetables actually lends some complexity. You can also sauté some bacon and chuck in with the veges while it's roasting, it tastes heavenly, but since I'm trying to drop a few pounds, I'm putting my bacon love on hold.

And apparently cauliflower is good for prostate health, so there, eat your cauliflower.

Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup 
Makes 4 servings
Time: About 1 hour (15 mins prep, 45 mins cook)

1 head cauliflower
1 large leek (white and light green parts only)
1 medium carrot
1 large russet potato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon truffle salt (or regular sea salt, or smoked salt)
Gruyere or chopped roasted hazelnuts and chopped parsley to serve
  1. Rough chop the cauliflower, leek, carrots and potato. In a large bowl, toss with olive oil, peeled garlic,  madras curry powder and dried thyme. Spread on a parchment line baking sheet and roast at 400F for about 30 minutes until vegetables are tender and browned. 
  2. In the meantime, heat the broth and bay leaf in a soup pot.  Toss the roasted vegetables into the pot and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes until vegetables are very tender. 
  3. Blend with an immersion blender (or a regular blender) until the soup is a creamy consistency but still with some small vegetable chunks visible. 
  4. If using gruyere: Use oven-proof bowls. Ladle soup and top with strips of gruyere, then flash under the broiler for a few minutes until cheese is melted and browned. 
  5. Garnish with hazelnuts and/or parsley. I like my soups less salty, so the seasoning listed is just a ballpark -- add or subtract according to taste. 


  1. Yes, it's soup season! I'm with you, I haven't bought cauliflower in a long time, but this looks delicious. My son might even enjoy this! Yay for quick weeknight dinner ideas.

  2. I will try this but I beg to differ. Cauliflower is so good roasted. I often make it as a side to go with some simple fish dish. Just cut florets and toss in some olive oil and salt and pepper, and roast at 425 til it desired crispiness. If you're feeling fancy, add if some capers, pine nuts, and parsley. I promise you will enjoy.

    1. Thanks, Mel! I will definitely try your recipe. There's so many more vegetables I prefer over cauliflower... even brussel sprouts are further up my list than cauliflower.

  3. I'm going to try this one this week. It looks divine.