When the fall vegetables arrive, we suddenly find ourselves with colorful new possibilities.
Cauliflower is a favorite in our family, and leeks a staple that will remain available through the winter. I’m glad of that since I have many recipes that use these sweet, tender members of the onion family.
This is a simple soup, not much fat, lots of flavor, and you can choose to use dairy or not. I think of making this when I pick the sage to bring in a dry for the winter. Fresh, the flavor is a little softer than dried, and it is perfect in this soup. I also like to grate in some fresh nutmeg, taste, and add more if needed. You don’t want it to taste like NUTMEG, you just want that subtle flavor throughout.
Everyone at the table
This can satisfy everyone in the family: vegan, low-fat, low-carb, Dairy-free, gluten-free if you use gluten-free bread for the croutons, soy, and nut free as well. A win all around!
I had a purple cauliflower for this recipe, and I drizzled a little coconut milk on top for visual interest because I like making the swirl. This completely depends on my mood!
Creamy Cauliflower and Leek Soup
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 leeks, sliced thin
- 1 head cauliflower, any color, cut into florets
- 5 cups water *
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Six or seven grates of nutmeg or scant ¼ tsp. ground
- 1 tbsp. fresh sage, finely minced
- Dash of hot sauce, optional
- Splash of coconut or dairy cream, optional
- Paprika and Garlic Croutons, below
- Fresh parsley for garnish
In a heavy bottomed soup pot, heat the olive oil over low heat and add the leeks. Sauté, turning frequently, for 15 minutes, or until the leeks take on a warm caramel color, but not browned.
Add the cauliflower and a cup of the water. Increase the heat to medium low, and cover tightly. Cook for another 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
Add the remaining quart of water, salt, and pepper to taste, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook with lid ajar for another 25 minutes.
Using a hand immersion blender, or standard blender, puree the soup until very smooth with no lumps apparent. Add the sage and nutmeg. If you don’t have fresh sage, use a teaspoon of dried.
Set the soup aside for the flavor to marry, and make the croutons, below.
Taste the soup, does it need more seasoning?
Serve topped with the croutons, below, and some fresh minced sage and parsley. Don’t forget lots of extra pepper!
P.S. This is delicious chilled as well!
If you really want to be frugal, make your own stock:
*Save the trimmings from the cauliflower if you like, the large tough leaves and core, and add them to the five cups of water along with the leek trimmings. Let this simmer while you gather and prep everything else and then strain. Lots more flavor!
Paprika and Garlic Croutons
- 2 slices whole grain bread, gluten-free is fine
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- ½ tsp. sweet Hungarian Paprika
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix together the garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl and spread on the bread and cut or tear into desired size. Place on a rimmed baking sheet on the center rack of the oven.
Toast for about 10 minutes, until starting to brown, turning once or twice and keeping and eye on them. Remove from the tray and cool.
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