I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! But isn’t it nice to be back in a normal routine?
From record breaking high temperatures in the northeast on Christmas Eve (in the 70’s), to 20°F today (brrrr), it seems that maybe…just maybe…winter has arrived. That means it’s time for soup!
After my fair share of indulgences these past few weeks, it feels good to be cooking healthier meals again. Did I mention the traditional Nutella pizza we eat every New Year’s Eve? Holy moly! Let’s not go there now.
If it’s cold where you are, then I’ve got the perfect recipe to help warm your body and soul and get you back into the swing of healthier eating.
I created this soup a few weeks ago when I was craving something warm and creamy but without dairy. The result was this rich, garlicky, vegan cauliflower soup!
They key is roasting cauliflower and garlic together to bring out it’s sweet caramelized flavor. Most of the cooking for this soup is done in the oven. So after you roast, the cauliflower, garlic and beans simmer in some vegetable broth for a short time, just to get all happy (now I’m getting all Emeril Lagasse on you)! Blending the ingredients together creates a thick, creamy consistency. *(Note– if there is any kitchen tool I would highly recommend it has to be the immersion blender. It allows you to puree the soup right in the pot and that is a huge plus! Check it out here: Immersion blender)
Although the soup is perfect by itself, I thought it would be fun to add a little green and a touch of texture. The light, airy, slightly salty crunch of the kale chips is actually quite addictive. I used lacinato kale, ripped the leaves off the stems, washed and dried them. But, for convenience, next time I’m going to use the pre washed bagged kale and call it a day. The kale is baked in the oven until crisp. **(see tips)
Here’s to a fresh start in 2016 and to a soup that won’t interfere with any of your new year’s resolutions! 😉
**Tips for making great kale chips:
- make sure kale is dry before baking. wet leaves make for mushy kale.
- spread out the leaves and be sure not to overcrowd your baking sheet with kale. (they will not cook evenly)
- 5-6 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 large head or 2 small)
- 1 small bunch lacinato kale (leaves removed from stems, washed and dried thoroughly)
- 4 garlic cloves (left whole)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 15 oz. carton cannelinni beans
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for soup pot) + more for drizzling
- coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- On a large baking sheet, spread out cauliflower and garlic and lightly drizzle with oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes until soft and golden.
- Reduce oven temp to 350 F to prepare for kale chips.
- Heat a olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium high heat.
- Add the onion and cook 4-5 minutes until translucent.
- Add the roasted cauliflower and garlic, beans and broth.
- Bring to a boil and simmer 10-15minutes.
- In the meantime, while soup cooks, make the kale chips.
- Spread out kale leaves on a large baking sheet with toss with a pinch of salt and light drizzle of oil.
- Bake about 20 minutes until leaves are crisp. (note cooking times may vary so keep an eye on them).
- Allow the soup to cool slightly.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender or carefully transfer soup, a few batches at a time to a blender.
- Transfer to bowls and top with a few of the kale chips, drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground pepper.