Cauliflower may not be the sexiest of vegetables; the raw florets are notoriously bland in both color and flavor. However, when roasted and combined with roasted garlic, sweet onions, leeks and fresh herbs in this hearty, vegetarian soup, the results are transformative. Packed with vegetables and highly adaptable, this is a filling and satisfying fall soup, best served with a hunk of crispy bread or homemade croutons.
- 1 cauliflower head, roasted
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 leek, white and light green parts, chopped
- 1 cup celery (about two stalks), chopped
- 1 head roasted garlic, peeled
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 3 tbs unsalted butter
- 1 tbs fresh parsley, minced
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stems
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In advance -up to a day ahead- roast the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 375º. Meanwhile, break down the head of cauliflower into individual florets. Layer the cauliflower on to a large, rimmed sheetpan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork-tender and begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
- In a large stock-pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the onion, leeks and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic, and using a wooden spoon, smash the garlic into a paste. Add the butter, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and let cook until the butter melts.
- Add the roasted cauliflower and vegetable stock. Stir to combine. Let the soup come to a boil, then turn the heat to low, and let simmer 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, and using an immersion blender, blend the soup to a smooth consistency.
- If using, add the cream and/or Parmesan, and stir to combine. Serve hot with crispy bread or fresh croutons and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.