Cauliflower Leek Soup
I’m guessing you have probably had Potato Leek Soup at some point in your life. It’s pretty tasty, but today we’re going to try a version that is better for your overall health.
I’m not here to hate on potatoes at all. In fact, I think they are awesome and have great nutritional properties when consumed in moderation. In a pinch, I have even eaten a baked potato with salt and pepper in an airport or restaurant when there was nothing else on the menu that I could eat. However, most people prefer their potatoes as fries or hash browns which are loaded with oils and sodium. Baked potatoes are often bogged down with cheese, sour cream, and bacon, quickly transforming them into an unhealthy meal choice. Potatoes are also high on the glycemic index, meaning that they cause quick spikes in your blood sugar. If you have diabetes or trouble keeping your blood sugar stable, you’ll want to limit or avoid high glycemic foods.
Since we’re kicking off a New Year and you might be looking for healthier alternatives to some of your favorite foods, let’s try this version of Potato Leek Soup with Cauliflower. Cauliflower has become an extremely popular food over the past several years for its mild flavor and ability to act as a worthy substitute for its less-than-healthy counterparts. Perhaps you have tried cauliflower mashed potatoes, a cauliflower pizza crust, or cauliflower wings?
Cauliflower itself is fairly bland, but it boasts great nutritional benefits. It’s low on the glycemic index, making it a better choice than white potatoes for people with diabetes or blood sugar instability. Though it’s not orange, cauliflower is also a wonderful source of vitamin C, which is important all year, but particularly in these winter months when we spend more time cooped up indoors. We tend to get more colds and our immune systems work a little harder to mend our bodies when viruses attack us, so it’s important to give our bodies the proper ammunition (whole foods rich with vitamin C) to help them fight off sickness. Other amazing sources of vitamin C include papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, strawberries, pineapple, and oranges.
You’ll find that cauliflower comes in a variety of colors as well, which all add additional nutritional components to your meal. You can now easily find shades of orange, purple and green among the white cauliflower at the farmer’s market or in your local grocery store. Cauliflower is also on the Clean 15 List for 2016, meaning that if you can’t get organic cauliflower, it’s okay. You can feel good about eating conventionally grown cauliflower as it has been shown to have no or minimal pesticide residue. You can read the whole Clean 15 List for 2016 here.
This soup has a short list of ingredients and it comes together very easily, making it a perfect addition to your weeknight rotation all winter. It freezes well, so feel free to make a double batch and freeze half of it. Or, portion the soup out in smaller glass containers (I love mason jars!) for single servings on nights when you don’t have time to cook.
Time to get your stove going so you can cozy up on the couch later with your favorite blanket and a bowl of this warming soup. I think you’re going to love it!
Cauliflower Leek Soup
1 head cauliflower, cut into smaller chunks
1 leek, with white and light green portions sliced
3 small yellow potatoes, cut into small pieces
1 TBSP coconut or olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 TBSP coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups almond milk
1 TBSP nutritional yeast (optional, but adds a nice flavor!)
Additional salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Toss cauliflower, leeks, and potato with coconut/olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay on a baking pan in a single layer. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven.
In stockpot, add 1 TBSP coconut oil and turn heat to medium. Once pot is heated, add garlic and stir (to avoid burning) for about a minute. Add roasted cauliflower, leeks and potato to the stockpot. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Remove from heat and add almond milk and nutritional yeast. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until creamy. Taste and add additional salt & pepper to your liking. Reheat to warm up the soup and enjoy! Sprinkle with additional leek slices or cracked pepper on top for presentation. Delicious alongside a salad or with a piece of sourdough bread.
TIP: If you do not have an immersion blender, you can blend this soup in your blender or food processor, just allow the soup to cool a bit first. Make sure your blender or food processor is vented to avoid soup explosions from the heat.