Toss cauliflower florets and whole garlic cloves with olive oil, then roast and puree. It’s the base for a creamy, thick and comforting roasted cauliflower garlic soup. If you are a garlic lover, the smell of the roasting garlic is heavenly.
Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup
Cauliflower is a terrific, non-starchy vegetable I’ve rediscovered from when I was a kid. Roasting it brings out the sweet quality and caramelizes the flavors. For this new recipe, I’ve pureed it along with leeks, carrots, garlic, celery and herbs for a satisfying soup.
Healthy Cruciferous Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy. A healthy option to add to your diet, cauliflower is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and disease-fighting phytonutrients. And all cruciferous vegetables have been linked in many studies for reducing the risk of cancer.
Trim any outer leaves then cut the core from a head of broccoli. Break the head into small florets., trimming any extra stem. Scatter the cauliflower into a large baking dish and add whole, peeled garlic cloves. Toss with olive oil and roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife and edges are starting to brown.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the aromatics (leek, carrot, celery, thyme) softly and gently in a large pot like a Dutch oven to coax out their sweet flavors.
Finish the Soup
When vegetables are done roasting, add cauliflower and broth to the pot and simmer until flavors have blended and all vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Puree with coconut milk (or heavy cream) in a food processor or blender, then season and serve. If you have never tried coconut milk in a soup recipe like this, surprisingly it does not taste like coconut. Leftovers reheat great the next day.
For garnish, I thin basil pesto down with a little coconut milk and swirl it into the soup, then drizzle with drops of golden olive oil. If you are vegan, make the pesto without Parmesan cheese. it will be more like the French version of pesto called pistou.
Tips on Buying Cauliflower
The most common color is white, although you will find orange, green and purple varieties. When buying cauliflower, choose heads that are firm and white with no brown spots or areas. Heads wrapped in a layer of green leaves are more protected. Cauliflower will last in the refrigerator about a week.
Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup
- 1 large head of cauliflower about 2 1/2 pounds or a little over 1 kilo
- 1 whole head garlic cloves sepaerated and peeled
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided use
- 1 cup thinly sliced leek white or pale green part only
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups low or no sodium broth preferably homemade, chicken or vegetable
- 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
- Pre-heat oven to 400° (204 C). Cut the outer green leaves and core from the head of cauliflower. Break the head into small florets, cutting stems as needed. Add florets and garlic cloves to a bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour vegetables into a large rectangular baking dish. Roast until florets are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife and edges are starting to brown, about 30 minutes. You may want to stir half of the way through.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, cook leek, carrot, celery and thyme in a large pot with last tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes.
- When the cauliflower is done roasting, add to the pot of vegetables and add broth. Bring to almost a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour vegetables into a food processor or blender and puree with coconut milk until smooth. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. Serve hot. See post for garnish notes.