It’s hard to resist rainbow colored cauliflower. If I have the choice between bland white and electric green, orange, or purple, I’m going for the colors every time. This green cauliflower tastes exactly the same as the original, but because of the color it does have the edge on nutrition. I think it makes a more interesting soup. You know what else makes this soup interesting? The crispy fried shallots. They’re like mini onion rings. Load them on, and you’ll be happy.
This recipe includes leeks for their oniony flavor and a potato for extra creamy texture. Fresh parsley and sage give it a gentle herby note. Make it vegetarian, vegan, or not. I will admit that I think it needs the extra flavor boost from the chicken stock, butter, and Parmesan. But you can definitely make this without. Like I said, the crispy shallots make a huge difference, even if you’re not exactly the healthy soup type.
- 3 leeks, cleaned and sliced
- 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter (or substitute more olive oil)
- 1 medium green cauliflower, core removed and florets roughly chopped (about 1 lb after trimming)
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups chicken stock or water
- fresh sage, about 6 large leaves (you can use 1 tsp dried)
- handful of fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- freshly ground white pepper
- 2 -3 large shallots
- sprinkle of flour (leave out for gluten free)
- salt and pepper
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a heavy soup pot. Saute the leek, shallot and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the potato and cauliflower florets. Cover the pot and braise over low heat for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender. Stir occasionally and be careful not to brown them. Add a splash of water if necessary.
- Add the stock or water, sage leaves, 1 tsp of salt, and 1 tsp of white pepper and bring up to a simmer. Simmer until everything is completely soft, about 5 minutes or so.
- Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and puree. You can also use an immersion blender. Add the fresh parsley at this point and puree with the soup.
- Return to the stove and add the cheese. Reheat and taste. It will probably need more salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, add a little water.
- Serve hot topped with fried shallots.
- To make the fried shallots, peel the shallots and slice them into thin rings. Gently separate the rings. Toss them in a little flour, salt and pepper. Shake off the excess.
- Coat the bottom of a saute pan with a generous amount of olive oil and heat over medium high heat till hot. Working in batches, drop the shallots into the hot oil and let them sizzle and brown, stirring and turning often. Don't crowd the pan, or the shallots won't crisp. They are done when they are browned and crispy, about 2 minutes or so. Remove them to a paper towel. Adjust your heat so they brown but don't burn.
Rainbow cauliflower is widely available in grocery stores, and of course farmer's markets. It comes in green, orange, and purple.
Colored cauliflower doesn’t lose its color when cooked, and depending on your particular cauliflower, your soup will range from pale to brighter green. This is a healthy, mildly flavored, comforting soup. I think it goes well with biscuits, and we had ours with these.
Here’s a few other tempting cauliflower soups to try, from creamy to spiced up, from classic to creative, and even a couple of slow cooker recipes…
Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup/ Mountain Mama Cooks
Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup/ two peas & their pod
Copy-Cat Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup /Chef in Training
Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Spicy Peanut Butter Crème / An Edible Mosaic
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Leeks and Thyme / Barefeet in the Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower Soup / The Roasted Root
Slow Cooker Cheesy Cauliflower Soup / 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Slow Cooker Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup / Eat Boutique
Cream of Cauliflower Soup / Cooking with Books
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Asiago Croutons / I wash You Dry
Tomato and Basil Cauliflower Soup / I Heart Nap Time
Cauliflower Soup with Piri Piri Shrimp / Healthy. Delicious.
Sage and Gorgonzola Cauliflower Soup / Cookin’ Canuck
Cauliflower Soup with Dried Mint and Pine Nuts / The Lemon Bowl
Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Cheese Soup / Naturally Ella
Cauliflower Soup / Saving Room for Dessert