Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cauliflower Leek Soup...The "Not Potato" Leek Soup

I love soup...really, I just love it. I was at the grocery store recently and they had some really beautiful leeks. So, immediately I thought of Potato Leek soup. Yum. The problem? Byron and I gave up potatoes, except for special occasions.

I got the brilliant idea (which I thought was so innovative) to substitute cauliflower for the potato. I was going to be a trail blazer in a new food combination of delicious low carbness. Not. When I googled cauliflower leek soup, there were pages of recipes. Oh well, I made it anyway.

Cauliflower Leek Soup, the "not potato" leek soup...awaits behind the cut.

Speaking of behind the cut...I owe a long overdue thanks to my friend, Sarah from Seattle. Without her help, I never would have been able to get cuts on this blog. Besides that, she is the inspiration for ideas for upcoming meals. Thank you, Sarah! You are truly made of awesome!

Here are the ingredients:

The recipe I used can be found here. It calls for the addition of heavy cream at the end. I opted out of that ingredient. Instead, I put a dollop of Boursin cheese and some chopped scallions as a garnish. By using the boursin as a garnish rather than cream as an ingredient in the soup, it allows you to control the amount you want...or gives guests the option of not having it at all. This recipe is so very easy and so very tasty.

This photograph illustrates why it is very important to wash leeks well:

Leeks are grown in very sandy soil, so as the leek emerges from the earth, the grit they are grown in gets trapped in the layers of the leek. It's gross, but easily cured. You simply cut the leeks and put them in a deep bowl of water. Swish them around and pop them apart and the dirt and grit falls to the bottom of the bowl:

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the leeks, cauliflower and garlic for about 10 minutes. This time, I used my garlic press. You can see, it is beat up. Just like the reviewer in that link to the Susi Garlic Press, mine is 20 years old and never fails to work beautifully. If you hate chopping garlic, get one.

The colors of these ingredients as they saute are just stunning. As I was at this point in the cooking, I found myself pulling a Rachael Ray, exclaiming to myself how wonderful it smelled...and how I wished you could get *smell-o-computer*:

After the ingredients in the pan soften a bit, you add the vegetable stock:

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. When the time is up, it looks like this:

With an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender), puree the soup:

Add salt and black pepper to taste:

Stir it in and you have a soup that is this consistency:

It has a wonderful creaminess that is not quite the same as potato, but wonderful nonetheless.

Heat up some crusty bread, set the table and you are ready!

Soup's on! Join me as I dine!



Seitan Said Dance said...

That sounds SO good! Parsnips are also a good potato substitute.

Paula Dines said...

Thanks, Seitan! I love parsnips and I didn't know that!

*wanders off to find parsnip ideas...

Taina said...

mmmm! I love these soups too!

Parsnips are what Finns used to eat before potatoes came along - and I do not udnerstand why they changed, they are so much tastier. And can be eaten raw too... e.g. a lovely salad with just so lightly cooked parsnips and baby sugar peas. We have developed a pasta with parsnips - with a version for doing home-made ravioli.

The pasta is vegan (if you can do without parmiggiano...): just onions sauted in olive oil with a thumb of fresh ginger cut to fine slices, then the parsnips in smallish cubes, have them get some brown sides, and add fresh basil. Salt and pepper, of course! Though I just cannot leave the cheese out of it.

Ps: you recognize me under this "alias", don't you?

Paula Dines said...

I would know you anywhere, Eal! :D

Thanks for commenting. I will try your soup. I will have to omit the ginger, since I have a severe allergy to it!

I would not be able to leave out the parmiggiano either.

Paula Dines said...

Well, I meant to type pasta. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

byron is a lucky man!

Paula Dines said...


I thank you...I think he knows, but just guessin'! ;)

Looking forward to our next culinary adventure on Friday.