If you’re an avid soup lover like me, then you agree that there is no reason you can’t enjoy a delicious steaming bowl of hearty minestrone even on the hottest summer day (especially if your office is as freezing as mine is). But as the leaves turn, the AC shuts down, and we pull our favourite (black leather) jackets from our closets, there is no doubt that soup season is upon us.
Soup is the best. It’s easy; it can be ridiculously low calorie and low fat (or fat-free if you skip the oil completely!); and a batch whipped up on a Sunday afternoon can make for easy lunches for the whole week. In fact, it’s one of my favourite Sunday activities in the fall and winter, mainly because it gives me an excuse to drink red wine at 3 in the afternoon (it’s a well-known fact that drinking wine while cooking makes for better tasting food – or at least a happier chef).
As I mentioned in my previous post, my wedding is fast approaching, so time is becoming limited as the days fly by. But I couldn’t go an entire week without posting something for you all. How would I sleep at night? (a Gravol would probably do the trick). And since I am looking for any way to save time these days, I thought I’d give you one of my favourite soup recipes that will help you save time with your meal planning next week: Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup.
I discovered through various other recipes that roasting vegetables before adding them to soup brings out amazing flavour, and it’s the same here. This soup is not only delicious, it’s also low fat, gluten-free, paleo, vegan (if you use veg stock) AND is a relative snap to make if you don’t count the mess chopping a cauliflower makes (sorry in advance). But with all the great health benefits it boasts, I put up with its pain-in-the-ass-to-clean-up ways.
First, it’s high in fibre, which helps clean your digestive system and gets rid of unnecessary substances (translation: it keeps things movin’ and prevents bloating). Additionally, it contains a substance called glucoraphin that appears to have a protective effect on your stomach lining. This also aids in digestion, something many people need help with due to many factors, one major cause being the inflammatory nature of a typical North American Diet. Which leads me to my next point: Cauliflower also fights inflammation! This helps prevent many diseases including arthritis, certain bowel conditions, and even cancer.
So say goodbye to summer and cozy up with fall by enjoying a hot, creamy bowl of Roasted Cauliflower Leek Soup – for the next 5 days.
The Natural Blonde
p.s. Bonus tip: Cauliflower also enhances your sex drive, which leads to the improvement of another favourite fall/winter activity…. Hey? What else do you do when you’re stuck indoors?
Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 2 large leeks, white and very light green parts only, chopped (these will be dirty – wash well!)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- A few pinches of black pepper
- A splash of white wine vinegar (to add at the end)
- More olive oil to drizzle (cause it looks fancy)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spread cauliflower, leeks and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt & pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove when everything is starting to turn golden brown (not burnt! – but if some are just pick ‘em out).
Once roasted, place the vegetables and garlic into a large stockpot and add the broth and spices. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Blend the soup with an immersion blender (the kind you hold in your hand) or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth (if you are doing it this way let it cool slightly first and do it in smaller batches as hot soup WILL explode – not that I know from experience….). Add the splash of vinegar and give it a good stir.
Lastly, transfer to bowls, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.
Store the rest in the fridge for up to a week (best lunch ever).