All diets on deck. We’re dabbling in thisdetox for six days, including caffeine, dairy, alcohol, sugar, gluten eliminations. My head aches thinking about morning tomorrow’s coffee deprivation.

Creamy vegetables reign supreme in this cleanse, so I’m pulling out one of my recent obsessions, creamy cauliflower soup that relies on this cruciferous’s natural creaming properties, or as America’s Test Kitchen puts it – low insoluble fiber content. See the bottom of this post for their scientific explanation.

I discovered ATK’s gorgeous recipe when looking for a use of cauliflower head abundance leftover from a party centerpiece. Credit for vegetable arranging comes from my super ridiculously creative friend Susie. Check out her display.

fresh vegetable centerpiece

Crazy easy to prepare, freezes like gold and it provides a low-cal, gluten-free, highly satisfying dose of your daily vegetables.

ATK’s cauliflower breakdown: Most soups made from pureed vegetables contain cream for a simple reason: to mitigate the effects of insoluble fiber. All vegetables have both soluble and insoluble fiber, but only the soluble kind fully breaks down during cooking, which contributes viscosity to the soup. Insoluble fiber remains intact, and the best that the blades of a blender can do is break it down into smaller bits. But cauliflower has a leg up on other vegetables. It’s very low in overall fiber–and only half of it is insoluble. This means that cauliflower is easily pureed into a silky-smooth soup with no cream at all.

 

 

naturally creamy cauliflower soup

Cauliflower offers a natural creamy texture. To capture the best, not overpowering flavor of the vegetable yet ample creaminess, we divide cooking durations, essentially holding off half of the cauliflower while the first half cooks. It’s ease comes in slicing the whole cauliflower rather than tinkering with florets, minimal ingredients and re-heatability.

preptime: 30 minutes 4-6 servings

cooktime: 30 minutes

  • 1 head cauliflower (2 pounds)
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
  • 1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp minced fresh chives
  • 1. Pull off outer leaves of cauliflower and trim stem. Using paring knife, cut around core to remove and using a vegetable peeler, peel outer layer of stem; thinly slice peeled core and reserve. Cut remaining cauliflower crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.

    Optional for garnishing: Cut heaping 1 cup of 1/2-inch florets from head of cauliflower; set aside (see garnish finishing below).

    2. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, onion, and 1 1/2 tsp salt; cook about 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until leek and onion are softened but not browned.

    3. Increase heat to medium-high; add 4 1/2 cups water, sliced core, and half of sliced cauliflower; and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add remaining sliced cauliflower, return to simmer, and continue to cook until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily, 15 to 20 minutes longer.

    4. Process soup in blender until smooth, about 45 seconds. Rinse out pan. Return pureed soup to pan and return to simmer over medium heat, adjusting consistency with remaining water as needed (soup should have thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred) and seasoning with salt to taste.

    Garnish: Melt remaining 5 Tbsp butter in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently until they are golden brown and butter is browned. Use slotted spoon to transfer florets to small bowl. Toss florets with vinegar and season with salt to taste. Pour browned butter in skillet into small bowl.

    Serve, garnishing individual bowls with browned florets, drizzle of browned butter, and chives and seasoning with pepper to taste.

1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth Posner says Jan 8th 2015 9:37 am

    SOOOO delicious and so easy- perfect for a sub zero temperature day and a child recovering from getting her wisdom teeth out! Yum!!!

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