Recipe: Cauliflower, Leek, and Potato Soup

Living in Seattle has inevitably made us more aware about eating organically and locally. (I can’t believe we’ve become one of those people either.) On a friend’s recommendation, Nick signed us up for an organic produce delivery, New Roots Organics, twice a month. I was skeptical because you hear all the time how people enroll in these deliveries, end up throwing old, moldy fruit away 3 weeks later, and cancel their membership after a few months. It’s like that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Raymond’s parents freak out because they are overwhelmed by being in the Fruit of the Month club. (“What???? MORE pears?!!) However, I have to say it’s been a good experience so far. With all of the produce we have coming in, we’re making healthier choices, and I’m challenged to even try new vegetables every now and then. Plus, I love not having to go to the grocery store as often!

Last week, we received a bin which included cauliflower and leeks. Up until that point, leeks and I were strangers. For the life of me, I had no idea what to do with a leek. But a few weeks ago on one winter Seattle Sunday, it was chilly and rainy outside so making soup sounded like a good idea (who am I kidding, I’m my father’s daughter so I just really love any excuse to have soup.)

After perusing the meager contents of my refrigerator (being inherently lazy, I would rather make do with what I have than brave the store on a Sunday), I found this recipe online for cauliflower, potato, leek soup from Kelly Davis of Foodie Fresh.

Photo by Kelly Davis

Photo by Kelly Davis

The original recipe is below, with my own tweaks. I tend to do this with recipes if I don’t have all the ingredients onhand or if I want to modify it to my taste. Sometimes it’s to everyone’s detriment, but this soup ended up being amazing anyway- it tasted like a baked potato soup without the starchy heaviness. I highly recommend it with croutons and a little bacon and parsley for color sprinkled on top. Because I made a ton, we were still eating it three days later, which for Nick is saying a lot! And now I’m a HUGE fan of leeks, love the mild onion flavor!

POTATO, LEEK, AND CAULIFLOWER SOUP (serves 6-8)

8 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
1 pound yukon potatoes, chopped (I only had one potato onhand and this was fine b/c I wanted more cauliflower than potatoes anyway. You can even omit the potatoes entirely if you’re going for the low-carb version.)
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried parsley
Salt to taste
Ground Black Pepper to taste
*1 cup skim milk (I omitted the milk since I wanted it more broth-based than creamy. I didn’t miss the milk at all.)

Bring broth to a simmer in a large pot. Add potatoes and cauliflower. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so that stock continues to boil slightly. Cook Potatoes and cauliflower for at least 30 minutes total.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan. Add shallots and saute for one minute. Add leeks and saute, stirring often, until leeks began to brown.

Add the leaks and shallots to the pot. Add thyme, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking until potatoes and cauliflower are very tender and will break up easily with a spoon. Puree with a blender or food processor. Add milk and stir.

Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an air tight container.

* If you like a more decadent soup, substitute the milk for 1/2 to 3/4 cup of heavy cream

Enjoy! I hope you like it. This soup is great for weekday lunches or for a light dinner.

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