Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Creamy Cauliflower and Leek Soup

My mother and I went to the market yesterday and we got a great price on some beautiful heads of cauliflower and perfect looking leeks.  Well, if you've been here before, you know I can't resist a good deal.  I bought several heads of cauliflower and few bunches of leeks.   Yes... that means you will be seeing my array of cauliflower dishes and some leek dishes thrown in there for the next week.  If you like to buy vegetables in bulk, when they are on sale, you can always steam them and put it in freezer safe bags to store them for future use.  If you cook as much as I do, you will find a way to use every bit.    Now onto this soup.  It was cold and rainy today so making soup was in order.  Cauliflower and leeks make a perfect combination for soup so with the main ingredients at home in bulk, I really had no excuse not to make this delicious soup.  My young daughter helped me taste test and this is the recipe we came up with together.  So, blame it on her if you don't like it... just kidding. : ) Actually we both ate it for lunch and were happy with our soup that was done in less than 30 minutes.  

1 head of fresh cauliflower chopped
2 cups of fresh leeks chopped
8 cups of chicken broth (or water/bullion equivalent)
1 tsp of dried thyme
1 tsp of ground cumin powder
few grates of fresh nutmeg (or small pinch of ground)
black pepper and salt to taste
red chili flakes to taste
1 cup of half and half or heavy cream
2 Tbs of flour
4-5 strips of bacon
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
fresh scallions to garnish

Note:  This is not a vegetarian recipe. If you want to make this vegetarian, just skip the bacon step and use canola oil.  Then substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock. 

Tip about washing Leeks: 
Since leeks grow through the dirt, a lot of grit is in between the layers.  The best way to wash leeks is to chop it first and loosen the layers.  Then put it into a bowl of cool water and swish them around to let the grit fall to the bottom of the bowl.  Then scoop up the clean leeks that are floating on the top and leave the grit and dirt at the bottom of the bowl.

Fry up your diced bacon until crisp. Drain onto a paper towel and reserve until later as a garnish. Reserve 2-3 Tbs of bacon drippings to fry your vegetables.

Add your chopped onions, leeks and cauliflower to the oil. Saute for a few minutes.  Then add your ground cumin, dried thyme, chili flakes, pepper, salt and some flour.  Saute for another minute.
Add your chicken stock and bring pot to a boil.  Cook for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.  Then add your cup of cream or half and half and Parmesan cheese.

Use and immersion blender and puree soup until smooth. You can also do it in batches in a regular blender or food processor.  Taste for seasoning and serve hot.  Garnishes with bacon bits and scallions.

Note:  **if you like creamed soups an immersion blender is really useful and I recommend getting one. :)  


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.