Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup

March 13, 2018

This creamy vegan cauliflower potato soup (with beans!) is all you need for that last push through until spring really starts. It's so creamy and luxe without any cream in sight, and you have to add a few croutons because you deserve it. Mostly because soup is nothing without toppings, but also because we all need a little extra comfort food while we wait for warmer weather to finally arrive. We're all familiar with potato soup, right? This is a lightened up version, with cauliflower for the creaminess and a little rosemary and lemon to add to otherwise simple ingredients. White beans or chickpeas act as the protein here but you won't notice in the final product, and neither will any picky eaters you're feeding. Sneaky. It's a bit of a shock that it does taste so good, because it doesn't seem like much is going into it, but it's impressed me every time I've made it. Simple but good.

I first made these rye croutons for this spring salad recipe - can't wait to make that again - but left the garlic off this time. You can use any kind of whole grain bread you have, even gluten-free seed bread, with good results, but rye has the best flavour for this. It just needs a little crunch and texture (you could try roasted chickpeas or crackers instead) to contrast the creamy soup a bit. Because the ingredient list is short, make sure you use a veggie broth that you like the taste of; this is a really great recipe if you want to make your own, or buy a good bouillon. Most of my soup recipes have the option to use water in place of broth but you really need it here.

On the not-food front, Graham and I booked our flights to Canada for the summer! It'll be almost two years since we've been home and we're staying for longer than we thought we'd be able to, so I'm pretty excited. My mom told me I can do all her preserving for her, hah. Otherwise I'm planning lots of camping, maybe a yoga workshop, and lots of visiting. I'm sure it'll fly by and I'm looking forward to a hot and sunny Manitoba summer. 



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Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup
Serves four

1 teaspoon oil (avocado, grape seed, sunflower)
1 medium yellow onion, diced (~70 grams)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs / 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves,  minced
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 litre / 4 cups vegetable stock
500 grams / 2 cups potatoes, roughly chopped
300 grams / 1/2 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
200 grams / 1 cup cooked chickpeas or white beans
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Heat a large pot over low-medium heat with the oil. Add the onion and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the rosemary and spices and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. 

Pour the vegetable stock into the pot, followed by the potatoes, cauliflower, and beans. Stir to mix, then increase the heat and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Puree with a stick blender or carefully with a standing blender (make sure it's heat safe), then add the lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed. Serve hot, topped with croutons.

Rye Croutons

2 thick slices rye bread, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. Place the bread, oil, and salt onto a baking sheet and use your hands to mix until the bread is coated. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Serve immediately. This can also be done in a frying pan but there's a high risk of burning the bread. 

Tips:
• The potatoes soak up a pile of salt, so you'll need to give this more salt than you usually might. If it seems bland, SALT. 
• I changed the method after a couple trials because the potatoes kept releasing too much starch and making the bottom of the pot burn. I think it tastes better this way as well as looking nicer. 
• Any leftover soup will freeze well, without the croutons (obviously).

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