It’s official, I want a head of cauliflower in my stocking for Christmas. I have yet to eat a cauliflower recipe that hasn’t wowed me, which is impressive because in some cases, cauliflower replaces some of the gooiest, creamiest, fattiest ingredients.
Would I choose pureed cauliflower over heavy cream? I would. Would I eat roasted cauliflower over chips? Mmmhmm. Mayonnaise or cauliflower? Don’t even get near me with the mayonnaise.
All I want for Christmas is a head of cauliflower…and one of those giant desk calendars made out of recycled paper (hint Chet).
P.s. If you have time, please do what you can to bring Parenthood back for more seasons. Thanks.
I’m just going to say it. This is one of the best soups I’ve ever made. I love the texture, I love the rich flavor, I love the color, I love the simplicity and I love how it clings to a piece of bread that’s been dunked deep into its yellowy depths. It is a bright pool of creamy, healthy heaven and it has officially made its way into my family’s box of favorite recipes.
Hello giant green onions, more formally known as leeks. Leeks have a milder onion flavor than most other onions in the onion family, which makes them a great addition for a creamy, flavorful soup. Speaking of onion family…
We recently visited my husband Chet’s family to celebrate his birthday. I was helping my sister-in-law make Tangy Asian Sesame Salad for a party which calls for green onions, when I noticed my niece was sitting across from us finishing up her Christmas list to Santa (which I assured her should have a head of cauliflower on it, to which she said, “Ew”). As a way of getting her involved with our cooking, I handed her all of the white hairy green onion heads that weren’t going in the salad, along with a marker and some other veggie scraps. For the next 30 minutes, those little onion heads turned into an entire onion family complete with cabbage blankets, carrot pillows and broccoli nightstands.
The point of this being that leek heads would make a killer onion family.
Roasting vegetables adds an incredible depth of flavor to any dish. I’m one of those weird people who loves burnt things, so when veggies get a good roast, I’m a happy camper.
You’ll see below that this recipe calls for 14 cloves of garlic, which depending on the size you buy, might just be the whole thing. A whole bulb of garlic?! It sounds like insanity doesn’t it? Well, I love garlic, so I don’t mind, but you should know that by roasting it first, it takes away a lot of the intensity and gives it a milder, toasty flavor.
Bonus: Roasted garlic makes a great topping for bruschetta or pizza!
Are you as sad as I am that your favorite TV shows are soon to be breaking for the holidays leaving us all in longing, confusion and frustration? I plan on drowning my sorrows in white wine, soup and bread while substituting TV with my annual Christmas movie binge. My favorites?
1. The Family Man
3. The Santa Clause
4. A Christmas Story
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carry version)
6. Love Actually
7. It’s a Wonderful Life
8. The Family Stone
9. The Holiday
10. White Christmas
After typing these out I quickly realized they’re impossible to rank in order because they’re equally as amazing. Although #1 is definitely #1. Quite possibly Nicolas Cage’s only great performance.
What to Bring to the Store
This recipe is so simple you only need to bring a few reusables with you to the store to cut down on your packaging waste.
- 2 reusable produce bags for the carrots and leeks (no need to bag your garlic or cauliflower)
- a reusable bulk spice bag for the thyme (if needed)
As I always say, bring your reusable grocery bags!
Waste Meter – 4 out of 5!
This recipe calls for mostly vegetables, which means there is limited packaging that needs to be dealt with. The only reason this recipe doesn’t get a 5 is because for some reason cauliflower always comes wrapped in plastic. I’m sure there’s a reason for this, but because of it you’ll need to toss this in your garbage. Beyond that, recycle your coconut milk can and possibly your stock carton if you used that. Compost all of your leftover veggie scraps to be used in future gardens.
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 head of garlic, 14 cloves
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup of thinly sliced leeks (light green and white parts only)
- 3 cups of water
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 can light coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the stalk and leaves from the cauliflower and chop into small florets. Peel the skin off of the garlic cloves. In a large roasting pan, lay the cauliflower and garlic out in one layer. Drizzle 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper over top. Mix well and bake for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are browned and you're able to easily pierce them with a knife.
- Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and warm on medium-low heat. Add the chopped carrots, leeks, remaining salt and pepper and thyme. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
- In a small sauce pan, bring the 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the 2 bouillon cubes and stir until dissolved.
- Once the cauliflower and garlic are done, add to the large pot with the carrots and leeks. Pour the bouillon water over top and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and puree, pouring the coconut milk in as it blends. Blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
- You can replace the water and bouillon cubes with vegetable or chicken stock.