I actually stole the idea from a friend who was buying leeks and cauliflower at a farm stand the day we visited the seaside pumpkin patch. She mentioned it was for soup and I thought that sounded pretty great. So last weekend when I bought my own leeks at the farmers market and had my usual cauliflower on hand, I thought I’d whip up some of my own.
Leeks used to seem intimidating. I would always see them at the store, but never knew what to do with them. Then, years ago, a friend challenged me to make something with leeks, so I did. I loved their delicate flavor and sought more ways to use them regularly.
Soup is a great way to highlight the flavor of leeks. You don’t want to smother the dish you use them in with bold flavors and mild cauliflower lets them shine.
I’ll admit that my kids were no fan of this even though they love most of my other soups. This will definitely be in the regular rotation around here, so hopefully they’ll learn to love it as much as we do.
Leek Cauliflower Soup
1 large head of cauliflower, chopped
2 leeks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Immersion blender or regular blender (this is the one I have)
Using just the white part of the leeks, cut off the root and slice in half lengthwise. Slice crosswise in 1/2 inch slices, then place the pieces in a bowl of cold water and separate. Leeks can be sandy, so this lets the sand come clean and settle to the bottom while you prep everything else.
Cut out tough cauliflower stem and chop in rough chunks. It will all be blended together anyway, so it doesn’t have to be pretty.
Heat olive oil in large heavy pot. Drain and rinse the leeks, then add them and the cauliflower to the oil. Sauté for a about five minutes until leeks are soft, but not browning. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add chicken broth (you can start with less than the 4 cups if you want to see what the consistency is like, depending on the size of your cauliflower. You can always add more at the very end if it’s too thick).
Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes, until cauliflower has softened and you can stick it very easily with a fork.
Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to puree it all into a nice smooth soup (or transfer to a regular blender to do this).
Add salt and pepper to taste. Remember that you need a fairly significant amount of salt to make a tasty soup, but start small and add on as you need to. For a kick, add red pepper flakes to individual serving bowls.
Mine is actually topped with piment d’esplette, but most people don’t have that around, so it’s fine to skip.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Linking up with Lean Lena today for Tasty Tuesday!
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