Tuesday, October 02, 2012

vegan mofo ::
creamy cauliflower soup

Chive talkin'. Chives are such a pretty, underused garnish, shown atop Creamy Cauliflower Soup.

Cauliflower is in the cabbage family, and nowhere does this flavor taste more apparent to me than when it's used in a soup. Since cauliflower imparts such an assertive flavor, I only added a few other basic soup veggies and a requisite bay leaf so as not to "muddy" the boldness.

During the chilly months, I like a substantial soup, so I've also added a potato or two to thicken this potage and make it more of a main dish than a starter. Just a quick whiz with my immersion blender – and voilĂ , dinner! [You can also use a regular blender. Just be very careful with the hot liquid and proceed in small batches.] If you prefer a daintier soup – more of a veloutĂ© – just strain before serving. But be forever frugal: Save any leftover pulp to flavor mashed potatoes or your next vegan quiche.

This economical soup was inspired by another Reading Terminal Market find, a huge head of cauliflower, which I thought was quite a bargain at 99 cents for a head. Assuming you can also find $1-per-head cauliflower, this recipe makes a huge pot of about 8 servings for – get this! – about 25 cents each. And even if your cauliflower costs $3 a head, this soup is still a bargain with each serving coming in at under 50 cents.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 small potatoes, diced [If they are organic, don't bother peeling]
1 package silken tofu [Refrigerated kind]
4 cups vegetable broth [I recommend Better than Bouillon ]
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh chives or parsley for garnish

Makes about 8 generous servings

Heat oil in a large stock pot. Saute onion, garlic and celery over medium until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and toss to coat. Cook about 5 minutes, then add everything but the garnish.

Bring to a boil then lower to a hearty simmer [medium-low-ish] and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until all the veggies are soft. Remove from heat and carefully puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. Add garnish and serve with crusty bread and/or a side salad.

Follow Me on Pinterest


Joey said...

I love cauliflower - a highly underrated vegetable in my opinion! Putting it in a soup is one of my favourite things to do with it - I can still remember a restaurant in London that is now sadly closed down, but used to make the best cauli soup. Can't wait to make this instead!

Tim said...

What would be a good substitute for the tofu in this dish?

Paulyna said...

also want to know a good substitute for the tofu--we don't do soy.

urban vegan said...

@Tim: Any non dairy milk or vegan sour cream. Are you avoiding tofu or soy?
@ Joey: Thanks! Hear, hear...I love cauli ;)

urban vegan said...

There you go, @ Paulyna!

Tim said...

Thank you! I try to avoid non-fermented soy as much as possible.

Anonymous said...

I love chives, they are great if you avoid onions and garlic! So pretty on your soup!!!

Mattheworbit said...

I've recently grown to love Cauliflower, upon learning to roast, coat it in nooch and almond meal and oil, and eat the whole tray (from let them eat vegan), but this definitely looks worth a try. I don't think I've ever had it in soup yet!

Southern Purple Veggie said...

I'm curious would Oat Milk or Coconut Milk work in place of the tofu?

urban vegan said...

@Southern Purple: I don't see why not! As I suggested, any non-dairy milk would be a fine sub. I love coconut milk as a soup base--gives everything a slight Caribbean undertone.

Anonymous said...

This looks fabulous!

vegan.in.brighton said...

I'm not a massive soup fan but this looks perfect. I can't wait to try it.