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. :)  


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  1. Another great soup recipe from you,Yumm,looks so creamy :)

  2. delicious luking creamy soup........

  3. Looks delicious! I love a nice warm soup on a rainy day. PLus the cauliflower & leek combo sounds fantastic. Yum!

  4. Mmm, I love a good cauliflower soup :) Cleveland is getting tons of snow, so soup is a very welcome thought here!

  5. Ramona, This is a really wonderful soup. I love the touch of cumin and nutmeg in it - very yummy!

  6. My mouth's watering. It looks amazing. Leeks are one of my top aromatics!

  7. My Mom would make a leek soup very often when we were kids. It's kind of sentimental for me :) And because it's very cold - I am craving a good soup!

  8. ABSOLUTELY making this. You know all about my soup obsession :)

  9. Looks delicious! I like cauliflower but don't eat it often. This looks like a great way to incorporate it into our eating more.

  10. Looks like a great way to eat cauliflower!

  11. You have been turning out such an amazing variety of soups, perfect for the cold weather! This one looks particularly lovely since I have a serious soft spot for leeks.

  12. Perfect soup for this climate! SO creamy too ! Loved it :)

  13. wow...look fabulous... beautiful presentation...

  14. Nowadays who doesn't love a good bargain at the market!? I stock up when I see a good deal as well! I personally am seeing lots of Meyer lemon dishes in my future!

  15. mmmm...I love any creamy soup :-) great pics!!


  16. The soup looks terrific and that is probably the pretties head of cauliflower I've ever seen! I purchased one today and it's not nearly as pretty!

  17. I love that you used cauliflower here. I've had leek and potato soup, but cauliflower seems such a natural substitution. I love most that you and your daughter came up with this together. I'm looking forward to more cauliflower recipes!!!

  18. That's a very interesting suggestion! Cauliflower cream! Loved it!

  19. Leeks and cauliflower, yum! I mean to make cauliflower soup this winter but haven't had a chance yet. Both veggies are my top favorite veggies, so I can tell already that I'll love this!

  20. My son makes soup every Sunday so he can take it for his lunch during the week. I will share this with him so he can make it. Maybe he'll make some for us when he comes home!


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