Lately, I find myself craving cauliflower soup.
Oh, and chocolate.
Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables. I love it roasted; enhanced with a touch of olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg, or chopped fine and added to a fragrant lentil dal, or baked with parsnip in a cheesy, creamy gratin. Most recently, I’ve been puréeing it with sautéed leeks to make a light, yet satisfying soup.
Apparently I am not alone; the weekly reader Notes from the Test Kitchen
came out with a recipe for cauliflower soup just this last week. I found striking similarities in the components, as it is such a simple soup, however the Cooks Illustrated version was prepared sans herbs and featured a lovely garnish of browned cauliflower. To my soup, I add sweet, aromatic nutmeg and spritely thyme to complement the mild flavor of cauliflower. I’d made it a couple of times over the past month or so, and never bothered to post, since it seemed so common.
However, when I was suffering a terrible cold last week, I naturally gravitated toward this soup. See, cauliflower contains an incredible amount of vitamin C, as do leeks; not to mention a boatload of other nutritents. Both thyme with nutmeg have germ-killing properties. My body must have intuited the need for immune-boosting elements.
Needless to say, I am feeling better.
You can pretty up this soup with a bit of toasted bread in butter (aka: croutons) and a drizzle of olive oil, or serve unadorned. Either way, it’s delicious on it’s own, or as a first course in a larger meal.
Cauliflower Leek Soup
Cauliflower Leek Soup
1 large head cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
2 leeks, washed
2 tbsp butter
Splash olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp fresh thyme
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat butter and oil in large stockpot over low-medium heat.
Add leeks; sauté until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Monitor closely and turn down heat if they start to burn.
Add cauliflower, broth, nutmeg and thyme; turn heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a summer and cover.
Cook for about 20 minutes, then purée in batches.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and croutons, if desired.