As spring takes hold I craved a soup made with the vegetables still lingering from winter and fresh herbs that punctuate their flavors. This luxurously smooth soup is made up of an interesting duo that actually plays well together– cauliflower and leeks. The cauliflower, which has a nutty flavor of its own, is enhanced by the bright quality of lemon juice, which brings out the subtle flavor of the leeks. I hit the soup with a little bit of Spanish smoked paprika and ancho chili powder, some fresh thyme and a handful of crushed almonds for a simple, healthy and light puree.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 1 pinch of chili powder
- 1 pinch of Spanish smoked paprika
- 1 cauliflower
- 2 leeks
- 4 cups (1 l) water or vegetable stock
- 1 lemon juice
- fresh thyme
- sea salt & pepper
- roasted almonds (roughly sliced)
Start by prepearing onion and garlic. This soup is ultimately an exercise in knowing how to cut up these vegetables. First seperate the cauliflower florets from the stalk by just chopping off the stalk and cutting the whites into smaller pieces. Your going to puree it later anyway so the florets don’t have to be perfect. For the leek, chop off about an inch at the bottom and also discard the dark green leaves of the leek at the top, leaving about an inch or two of the dark part. You’ll be left with a white stick with a short head of green hair. Coarsely chop the leek and place in a strainer, rinse well and drain. Add olive oil to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and chili and cook until the onions soften, stir occasionally. Add cauliflower and leek and let it fry for a couple of minutes. Add water/stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer until the vegetables are soften, about 20 minutes. Use a hand blender to puree the soup. Stir in half of the lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper. If the soup is to thick add some water. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour into bowls and serve with fresh thyme, lemon zest and toasted almonds.