When I was younger, I thought I didn’t like cauliflower because I didn’t like eating it raw, even when it was doused in ranch dressing. I didn’t think it was good cooked because the only way it had been served to me was drowned in nacho cheese in “winter mix” at school. I hated how they ruined perfectly good broccoli by serving it that way. Damn lunch ladies.
Turns out, I actually love cauliflower, especially roasted and in soups.
Spicy Vegan Cauliflower Leek Soup
inspired by this recipe from Love and Lemons
- about 2 cups chopped cauliflower (one large head)
- 2-3 leeks, chopped, white and very light green parts (about 1 to 1.5 cups)
- 1 16 oz can of cannellini beans
- 2 cloves of garlic
- leaves from a few sprigs of marjoram or thyme
- 3 cups of water
- 2 T more olive oil + more for drizzling
- 1/8 – 1/4 t smoked paprika
- squeeze of lemon
- a few pinches of salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes
- splash of white wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 400F.
Chop garlic, cauliflower, and leeks. Don’t leave big chunks of cauliflower as they will take longer to roast and will be more difficult to puree smoothly. The best way to chop leeks is to cut diagonally on each side when the light green fades to dark and discard the tops. Then split them down the middle and then chop in half rings.
It’s also important to soak the leeks in a big bowl of very cold water. These grow in the ground, and silt and sand can get down int between the layers. Separate each piece and let it sit for a while, then strain the leeks out of the water. You’ll notice sediment at the bottom of your bowl.
Spread garlic, cauliflower, and leeks on pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes and rotate once. Watch closely so your leeks don’t get charred.
Dump in your roasted veggies and 1/2 the water into a dutch oven. I blended mine with an immersion blender, you can also let the roasted veggies cool and puree in food processor or blender and then put them in the dutch oven.
Rinse and drain cannellini beans and add with salt, lemon juice, fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. Keep blending.
Add paprika and the rest of the water. Heat until warm and adjust seasonings. I like mine served with a crusty bread and side salad. Imagine that.
The smoked paprika and red pepper flakes kick this soup up a notch so it’s slightly spicy. I hate bland, so that’s a good thing. I also think this would be awesome with some acorn squash instead of the cauliflower so next time I will probably make it that way. If you love potato leek soup but don’t want all the empty carbs in the potatoes, this will satisfy you. Likewise, if you love creamy soups but don’t want the dairy, the cannellini beans really do give it that creamy feel. I subbed these for the cashew cream in the original recipe because cashews can be so expensive, but give it a try that way too if you have some on hand. I can’t ever keep them around because Mister BS loves to snack on them.