A Birkenstock wearing tree-hugger?
A body-obsessed Hollywood actor?
A nerdy, know-it-all Berkeley professor?
Possibly, but I think a man who doesn’t eat meat is like the male version of Lois Lane—let call him Larry Lane—because they know the hidden identity that is the vegetable.
Unlike the one-dimensional hunk of meat a vegetable can transform itself into many guises. It can be a focal point, a background note, or in the case of this soup, blend itself into a smooth puree defying all laws of mouthfeel that say a creamy soup must contain cream. Cauliflower is wonderful in this way, as is potato, squash, or almost any root vegetable.
Also, I’ve included step-by-step instructions of how to puree hot soup—spoiler alert—it involves a clean kitchen towel.
- 3 leeks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 3/4 cup pecans
- finely chopped roasted red pepper (optional, for garnish)
- Remove stem ends and dark green stalk of the leeks. Cut in half lengthwise, then in 1/4-inch thick slices. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cold water and swish leeks around to remove any dirt hiding in between the layers. Give dirt a second to settle to the bottom, then lift leeks out of the water and transfer to a plate or cutting board.
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add leeks and season with salt and pepper. Add cauliflower, turmeric, and curry powder, and stir to coat. Season with more salt and pepper and cook until cauliflower is tender, and starts to brown, about 8 minutes.
- Add stock and pecans and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until cauliflower is soft, about 15 minutes. Fill a blender 2/3 full with soup. Place a clean kitchen towel that you don't mind getting dirty (or doubled over paper towel) over the top of the blender. Holding towel down with one hand, turn blender onto its lowest setting. Slowly increase the speed of the blender until soup is smooth and creamy. Repeat with remaining soup, then pour back into the pot and return to the heat.
- Bring soup to a simmer adding more stock or water if too thick. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle into bowls, garnish with roasted red pepper and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 196Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 577mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g