It may be warm and springy where you are, but the weather here still makes a warm bowl of roasted cauliflower soup swirled with arugula pesto a good thing. Especially after being pelted with stinging hail and big drops of cold rain. Do you feel sorry for me yet?
See my arugula pesto recipe for the details on that: for this soup, I make a straight arugula pesto without mint. The soup itself doesn’t have a complicated spicing: that’s because it starts with a homemade vegetable stock which is really good in itself. But it will also be good with boxed stock, though you might want to supplement that with little extra pepper, parsley, and so forth.
I’ve taken to roasting vegetables for soup, often along with a head of garlic, before simmering them on the stove with the rest of the soup ingredients. Compared with sauteing them in olive oil on the stovetop, roasting takes a little longer but is less labor-intensive. It uses less (or no) oil, and it adds flavor by browning the vegetables nicely.
- 1 large head of cauliflower, about 3.5#
- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 head garlic, to roast, with extra left over (5 cloves used in the recipe)
- 5-6 cups homemade or store-bought vegetable stock. (If stock is store-bought, consider adding a handful of parsley, 2 bay leaves, and a chopped onion to the recipe for extra flavor)
- several sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 cup plain unsweetened soy or other milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Break cauliflower into small florets, place in large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil (optional) and mix.
- Cut top off of head of garlic, cutting tips off of each garlic clove. Pour a little olive oil over the garlic (optional).
- Place cauliflower florets and garlic on baking pan.
- Roast about half an hour, or until fragrant and browned.
- Squeeze five cloves from the head of roasted garlic to use in the soup, reserve the rest for another purpose.
- In a large pot, combine stock, cauliflower, garlic, and thyme. If you are using store-bought stock, consider adding a handful of parsley, two bay leaves, and a chopped onion.
- Simmer 15-30 minutes, until the cauliflower is completely soft.
- Once the vegetables are soft, remove the bay leaves (if you added them).
- Add milk (plain unsweetened soy or other).
- Blend in blender or food processor. If you are using a small or mid-sized blender, blend in batches, using caution with the hot liquid. In a Vitamix, this will only take one or two batches.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.