This Cauliflower Leek Soup recipe has the distinct honor of being the first post of the new cooking series on my blog!
My husband Mike & I have long talked about doing a “Cooking With Mike” series. He cooks, I take photos, and we share it all with you. I turned it in to a resolution for the new year – every weekend (well, every weekend that we are both in Houston), we spend time together in the kitchen cooking and photographing recipes. We’re still working the kinks out of the system, so while we cooked this the first weekend of the year, I am just now posting it here on the blog. Don’t worry though, I will be catching up soon!
On to cooking – the Cauliflower Leek Soup recipe! When I started doing 4 Hour Body 13 months ago, I gave up potatoes. The down side to that was no more potato leek soup. Mike decided to try to make it with cauliflower instead, and I discovered it tastes just as delicious, all while being Paleo / 4 Hour Body friendly!
I should probably admit that until I met Mike, I didn’t even know what a leek was, other than being some weird thing I saw on the menu from time to time. Ah, the life of being a picky eater. He has definitely made me more adventuresome when it comes to food!
And who doesn’t love Bacon? Oh, wait, I didn’t until a year ago. Well, I used to, but then I stopped. I still can only eat it if it is really crispy!
When preparing your leeks, you want to cut them in half in one direction, but not all the way through at the base. Then turn and repeat for the other half (essentially cutting them in to quarters), again, not cutting all the way through the base – as Mike shows in the bottom photo. This will keep them together while you soak them to get them clean, making it easier to cut them for the soup.
While he was breaking down the cauliflower and cutting it, the leeks were sweating in the pot behind him, getting nice and soft and all of the water out of them so that we could add the cauliflower and the (still frozen) chicken stock.
The leeks are done when they have sweated out, are very soft, are not browned, and are about half their original volume.
We used our new Vitamix Professional Series 200 Blender [affiliate link] to blend our soup, but we discussed afterwards that it makes it so smooth and creamy, it is too smooth for me. (I have texture issues.) Mike’s tips to work around that if you like your soup a little more “hearty” like I do is to either hold back 25% of the soup and blend that in separately at the end, not quite so smooth, or to use a stick blender. He was THRILLED with how smooth the soup came out putting it all in at once, and said that that was the classic texture. Just so you know you have options!
Update January, 2014: We are so excited to be included in the Meal Planning Magic 25 Simple Soup Recipes for National Soup Month list! Many great ones there to check out as well!
- 4 strips of bacon, cut into ½” pieces
- 3 leeks, trimmed and washed
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 4 C chicken stock
- ½ C heavy cream
- salt and pepper
- In a pot over medium-low heat, cook the bacon pieces until golden brown and fat has rendered. Remove bacon pieces with slotted spoon and reserve.
- Halve the leeks and chop roughly into pieces about ½” wide.
- Turn heat to medium-high. Add leeks to pot, scatter over 1 tsp. kosher salt, stir, and cover pot. Let leeks sweat for about 5 minutes, until soft. Stir to scrape up brown bacon bits from bottom of pot.
- Core the cauliflower and separate the florets.
- Once leeks are done, add cauliflower and stock to pot and bring it to a boil.
- Turn heat to medium-low. Cover pot and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer soup to blender (work in batches if necessary) and blend until smooth. (May use a stick blender if you prefer.) For additional notes on this step, see the Cook's Notes.
- Stir or blend in cream, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed.