Like everyone else on our planet, I begin to crave soup as September comes to and end and fall starts to really kick in. Vegetable purees are consistently at the top of my list because they're super easy to make, take very little time, and are generally low calorie.
You of course control how much cream and butter will make an appearance to get the taste just right, but you'd be surprised how much you can do with a fat-free milk substitute and Earth Balance for butter. This cauliflower and leek soup is a great example of that - a soup that's rich in flavor due to the roasting process of the cauliflower, not the addition of cream. Let's get to the recipe...
[tabgroup layout="horizontal"] [tab title="Ingredients"]1. 2 heads of cauliflower, cut into one inch pieces, roasted
2. 1 cup chopped leeks
3. 1/2 tablespoon butter or Earth Balance
4. 1 teaspoon coriander
5. 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (plus extra for the right consistency)* - I changed this from 2.5 to 3.5 after reading the comments...
6. 1/2 cup fat-free milk
7. 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
8. Salt and Pepper to taste
9. Pinch of freshly shaved parmesan
10. Toasted almonds to garnish
11. Olive Oil [/tab] [tab title="Steps"]1. Turn on oven to 400, cut cauliflower heads into one-inch florets and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil so each piece is covered, then sprinkle with garlic salt, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until starting to brown.
2. Cut up leeks, then place into a water bath to remove dirt. Leeks are very tricky, and hide dirt deep in their layers, so it's important to fill your sink with water after you cut them and wash the pieces thoroughly. Dry them completely, then heat a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, melt butter or Earth Balance in the pan then add leeks. Cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the roasted cauliflower and coriander to the pan, and cook for another minute.
4. Add chicken stock and milk to the pan, bring to a boil, salt and pepper to taste, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Then, using an immersion blender (this is a hand-held tool that enables you to blend soups in a hot pan instead of pour them into a blender) gently blend the soup together until the vegetables puree. You have control over how smooth the soup becomes. I like to leave my vegetable soups with a couple small pieces of veggies in there for texture. Add a bit more stock to make soup thinner if you want (but remember to bring it back to a boil before serving). Garnish with freshly shaved parm and toasted almonds, and enjoy! XO[/tab] [tab title="Notes"]Serves 6 to 8
Oven to 400 F[/tab] [/tabgroup]