I am starting the countdown to a long awaited trip to Germany to see my new granddaughter and my daughter and son-in-law. 29 days to go. And before I go, I want to slim down a bit, take it easy on heavy foods and detox a little. I have some really awesome lighter raw and vegan recipes I’ve collected over the years, and now seems like the right time to revisit and share some of them with you.

Starting a meal with light soup is the perfect way to take the edge off hunger pangs and partially fill you up before you eat. Testing has proven people who consume soup as a starter eat less overall in the total meal. There is actually a word for filling up with volume but less calories…..would you believe me if I told you the term is volumetrics?  http://news.psu.edu/story/196394/2007/04/25/eating-soup-will-help-cut-calories-meal

Today’s recipe comes directly from http://healthyblenderrecipes.com. Tess Masters has lots of delicious recipes, but she reports this cauliflower soup is her most requested recipe. Once you make it you’ll know why…there is no dairy, no cream, gluten-free, filler free, grain-free, but utterly smooth, light and delicious. And, if you are ambivalent about cauliflower, you won’t notice it is there. To me, it tastes more like a cream of leek soup.

The secret to the ultra creamy texture is the small quantity of either raw soaked almonds or raw cashews. I used slivered almonds because that is what I had and it was wonderful. Next time I will try cashews.

I’ve found several variations on this same basic soup recipe, to make cream of curry with apple, cream of mushroom, cream of spinach, cream of celery, creamy garlic soup, cream of broccoli, etc.. I am super excited to try them all.

My big variation from the original recipe is doubling the garlic, just as a baseline. If I wanted this to be cream of garlic soup, I would saute 16-20 cloves of garlic to add to the cauliflower base and perhaps a bit of raw garlic to finish.

Also, you definitely need a good blender. If you have a blender with less power than the Vitamix, allow the mixture to blend in batches for 2-3 minute each. I did leg lifts while I waited. 🙂

I drizzled this soup with shallot oil after I took the picture and it was delicious. Fresh dill, fried shallots, freshly ground back pepper would all be good on top of this soup.

Delicious Vegan “Cream” of Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons chopped garlic (about 4 cloves), plus more to taste
  • 2 cups (200g) chopped leeks (white parts only, from 2 or 3 leeks)
  • Celtic sea salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 7 cups (1.65l) vegetable broth (Tess highly recommends Massel vegetable stock cubes if you can find them
  • 1/4 cup (35g) raw unsalted cashews or 1/4 cup (35g) blanched slivered raw almonds, soaked
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives or a grating of nutmeg (optional; choose one, not both), to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic, leeks, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for about 3 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the cauliflower and sauté for another minute.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, increase the heat to high, and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is com- pletely tender. Stir the mix periodically and mash the cauliflower with a wooden spoon.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly; stir in the nuts.
  5. Pour the soup into your blender (I use a Vitamix) in batches and puree on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
  6. Return the soup to the saucepan and warm it over low heat. Stir in salt to taste.
  7. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with either chopped chives or grated nutmeg.
  8. Serves 6 as a starter, 4 as a main.
http://www.bikinishape.com/vegetarian/delicious-vegan-cream-of-cauliflower-soup/