Vegan Cauliflower Soup
Source: Cook's Illustrated, Better Vegan Category: Vegan Soups and Stews
Prep Time: 10-15 min Cook time: 50 min Total Time: 65-70 min Serves 4 to 6
About this recipe
This soup has a creamy silky-smooth texture without any added nut milks or creams due to the high amount of soluble fiber in cauliflower. Cooking half of cauliflower for longer time brings out its nutty sweet taste, and the other half cooked for shorter period of time produces more of a cabbage-like flavor. The combination of two creates a complex taste of this simple, yet elegant soup.
Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse. It is a great source of nutrients, including a few that many people need more of. Besides, cauliflower contains unique antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and protect against several diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
It is also very easy to make the soup oil-free by substituting coconut oil with water and skipping the olive oil garnish.
1 head cauliflower (2 pounds)
1+3 Tbsp. coconut oil, divided (I use Kirkland Signature Cold Pressed Unrefined Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 84 Ounce)
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
Pink Himalayan Salt (I use Sherpa Pink Himalayan Salt, 2lbs Extra-Fine Grain)
4 ½ – 5 cups water
½ tsp. sherry vinegar (try Columela Sherry Vinegar (Solera 3) Reserva)
3 Tbsp. minced fresh chives or parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil for garnish (optional) (I use Newman's Own Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 17 oz)
1. Prepare the ingredients.
2. Pull off outer leaves of cauliflower and trim stem. Using paring knife, cut around core to remove; thinly slice core and reserve. Cut heaping 1 cup of 1/2-inch florets from head of cauliflower; set aside. Cut remaining cauliflower crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.
3. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, onion, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring frequently, until leek and onion are softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
4. Increase heat to medium-high; add 4 1/2 cups water, sliced core, and half of sliced cauliflower; and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add remaining sliced cauliflower, return to simmer, and continue to cook until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
5. While soup simmers, melt remaining 3 tablespoons coconut oil in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook, stirring frequently, until florets are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and use slotted spoon to transfer florets to small bowl. Toss florets with vinegar and season with salt to taste.
6. Process soup in blender until smooth, about 45 seconds. Rinse out pan. Return pureed soup to pan and return to simmer over medium heat, adjusting consistency with remaining water as needed (soup should have thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred) and seasoning with salt to taste. Serve, garnishing individual bowls with browned florets, drizzle of olive oil, if using, and chives and seasoning with pepper to taste.