What a crazy batch of weather we had over the weekend. The cold rain and the high winds, not to mention the unbelievable high tides and flooding kept things interesting. We heeded the warnings and hunkered down at home but our neighborhood was hit hard. Downed trees and powerlines, flooded basements and demolished fences were the norm. We were fortunate to escape with just the loss of power and heat and little other damage. I had never been so thankful to have a pot of hot soup on the stove. Between the cauliflower leek soup and the roaring fire in the fireplace we were able to stay warm.
Health Benefits of Leeks
Leeks are a late winter/early spring harvest so they always make their appearance before many of the other spring veggies. Leeks offer not only great flavor to many recipes, but tons of nutrition as well. Leeks contain good amounts of Vitamin K, manganese, Vitamin B6, cooper, iron, folate and antioxidants. They are known to support cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation. Like many allium veggies (garlic, onions), it’s good to cut leeks at least 10 minutes before you’re ready to use them in cooking to break down their cell walls and activate their enzymes.
Potatoes or Cauliflower? You decide.
I have been making potato leek soup for years. I love the flavor and the creaminess, but I knew I could easily increase the nutrient density with a few swaps. Cauliflower is the perfect substitute for those potatoes. When pureed into the soup, it provides the same texture as the potatoes, yet fewer calories and an abundance of vitamins, minerals and health benefits.
I made a batch of this cauliflower leek soup last week to take to a neighbor who just had a baby. Easily digestible and loaded with nutrition and flavor, I knew it would be just what she needed. Truthfully, we all could use a bowl of this soup. Anytime. All the time.
I hear another storm is brewing for mid-week….a sign that winter isn’t yet over and a reminder to make another pot of soup. Cauliflower leek soup is an ideal solution to the fact that winter seems to be lingering, while spring veggies are starting to turn up at the store.
More Recipes for WARM and NOURISHING SOUP:
- Olive oil
- 3 Leeks
- 3 ribs Celery
- 1 small onion
- 2 large Parsnips
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme (sub 1 teaspoon dried)
- 5 cloves garlic, finely grated
- 1 head Cauliflower
- 8 cups veggie stock
- 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
- Prepare veggies: Trim leeks, slice in half lengthwise and thoroughly wash and dry. Then thinly slice. Dice celery and onion. Roughly chop cauliflower, slice parsnips and peel garlic.
- In a large stock pot, heat olive oil and saute leeks, onion, celery, parsnips, salt, pepper and thyme over medium heat until veggies are soft.
- Stir in cauliflower and coat with seasonings. Grate garlic over pot and stir into mixture until it becomes fragrant. Stir in the stock (if there's not enough to completely cover veggies, add enough water to cover) and bring to a boil.
- Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, until cauliflower is soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.
- Remove thyme stems and puree soup with immersion blender or in batches using food processor or regular blender.
- Return to pot and taste for seasoning, adding more S+P as needed.
- Garnish with fresh parsley or thinly sliced spring onions (scallions) or fresh thyme leaves removed from the stem.
If you're in a hurry, use riced cauliflower and cut down the cooking time. Riced cauliflower will be ready to blend in about 5 minutes.
OPTIONAL TOPPING: Fresh parsley, thyme or spring onions.
Serving Size1 bowl
Amount Per Serving Calories 187Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 1mgSodium 336mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 11gSugar 12gProtein 8g