Wow, this recipe! With so few ingredients, it sounds so simple, almost too simple, but it is SO good. And it’s creamy and rich without any cream! My husband was impressed when I made this instead of his favorite potato and leek soup, so that’s a win. I found the original recipe from American’s Test Kitchen on The Splendid Table’s site and made a few modifications to enhance the flavor.
Cauliflower is one of those nutrient-dense cruciferous veggies that I talk about in another blog post, and it’s a great substitute for the less nutrient-dense potato. The soup is sweet and nutty, with the subtle flavors of leek, garlic and onion making it savory and delicious. The blended cauliflower turns creamy, velvety and rich. As an added bonus, it’s a low-carb, low-glycemic, nutrient-dense soup, so you can feel good about going back for seconds.
Pair with a lightly dressed salad with roast chicken or try my Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad.
Creamy Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup
Servings: 4 - 6
Time: 55 minutes
- 1 head cauliflower (2 pounds)
- 6 tbs unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
- 1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
- 4 1/2 – 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 small head garlic
- Salt and pepper
- First, roast the garlic. Set oven to 350. Cut the pointy top off of a whole head of garlic. Pour a dash of olive oil into an oven safe ramekin, place the head cut side down, and bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until garlic is soft. Set aside to cool.
- As garlic cooks, pull off outer leaves of cauliflower and trim stem. Cut around core to remove; thinly slice core and reserve. Cut 1 cup of ¼ inch florets from head of cauliflower; set aside (this is for the brown butter garnish). Cut remaining cauliflower into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
- Melt 2 tbs butter and 2 tsp oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, onion, and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring often, until leek and onion are softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
- Add 4 ½ cups broth, sliced core, and sliced cauliflower. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 25 – 30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily.
- Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 tbs butter in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook, stirring often, until florets are golden brown and butter is browned and has nutty aroma, 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. Pour browned butter into separate bowl and reserve for garnishing.
- Squeeze the cooled garlic cloves into the soup just before blending. They should easily come out of the bulb like a paste.
- Process soup with a handheld emersion blender until smooth, about 1 minute (if you don’t have an emersion blender, get one! Or just use a regular blender, pureeing the soup in a few batches, and being careful not to burn yourself).
- Adjust consistency by adding remaining broth as needed (soup should have thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle after being stirred). Season with salt to taste.
- Garnish bowls with browned florets, drizzle of browned butter, chives, and pepper.