Sunday, May 1, 2011

Creamy Cauliflower Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

The week got away from me a bit with the blogging--one of those busy, too much other writing and stuff going on kinds of weeks. It isn't that I haven't been eating well on my first week of the Engine 2 Challenge that I undertook with Whole Foods -- eating a "plant strong" diet (basically vegan, although honey is allowed and added oils are not), I have been satisfied, have not gone hungry at all and enjoyed some great food. This week I have been craving heavier comfort-style foods (maybe to transition to the overall lighter way I have been eating?), so pasta with tomato sauce, mushroom stroganoff, black beans and brown rice, have all been on the menu. And this Kole's Creamy Cauliflower Soup (named after the author's son) from "The Engine 2 Diet Book."

Soups are an easy thing to make vegan and without oil. I saw this one in the book and its thick hearty texture appealed to me. From the color of the soup I think it should actually be called Cauliflower-Carrot Soup. I served it with tartines of multi-grain bread with a layer of oil-free and tahini-free Healthy Homemade Hummus and a layer of Kale Butter (a kale and walnut spread also from the book), cucumber and tomato for a satisfying and healthy dinner.

Kole's Creamy Cauliflower Soup
"The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn
(Serves 6)

4 cups chopped onion
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cups water, divided
3 cups diced potatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 large carrots, diced
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
2 cups vegetable broth (I used low sodium veggie stock)
2 Tbsp cashew or peanut butter (I used 4 Tbsp natural peanut butter)
2 Tbsp low-sodium tamari
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Heat onion, salt, and 1/2 cup water, then simmer on low for approximately 20 minutes, or until the onions cook down to a nice mush. Check to make sure the water is sufficient, and then add 1/4 cup water as needed, so the onions don't burn on the bottom of the pot.

Add the potatoes, celery, carrots, and cauliflower along with 2 cups of water and the vegetable broth. Simmer until all of the vegetables are soft--about 20 minutes. Add the cashew or peanut butter and tamari. Mash with a potato masher (or an immersion blender) until the soup is mostly smooth, with some chunks. Season with cracked pepper and sea salt to taste.

Variations: Add one bunch of freshly chopped kale, mustard greens, or collard greens 5 to 8 minutes before serving for a nutritional power punch.

Notes/Results: Creamy and filling, this soup hit the spot for me. It is a good way to work in those veggies. I did find that it needed more of the nut butter for flavor, depth and texture--it raises the calories a little but in a bowl of soup this healthy it doesn't make than much of a difference, and it adds more protein. The tartines were a great pairing and between them and a cup of the soup, it made a tasty and filling meal. I would make this again.

Here's a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen this week:

Lauren from Healthy. Delicious. is here with Springtime Chicken and Spaetzle Soup and says, "If you could turn the perfect spring rainshower into a meal, this soup would be it — it’s calm, restorative, and in a weird way, beautiful. Loaded up with extra celery, peppery watercress and fresh dill, it’s the perfect soup to curl up with on a chilly, damp spring night. The flavors are familiar, but chewy spaetzle and bright citrus notes from fresh lemon juice make it something special and keep you coming back for more."

Debbi of Debbie Does Dinner... Healthy & Low Calorie made this Chunky Meaty Chili and says, "I wanted a nice and meaty chili. Oh, I still needed beans though. This is an awesome meaty, chunky, hearty chili that we all loved. This is said to be Jimmy Fallons recipe. I changed it quite a bit and so did Veronica so it really isn't his anymore, now is it? Of course, I had to serve it with the same buttery beer bread that she used. They both went well together and we all loved it!"

Kim from Incandescent Blue Flame is back this week with a hearty Potato-Artichoke Soup and says, "Photographing a green-ish soup is tough. I couldn't find an angle that would make it look good. See? Green veggies swimming in green broth. Sigh. No-win. It's actually supposed to be blended and I suppose that would make it look creamy and therefore photograph well. I like my soups chunky; I feel like I'm actually eating something, ya know? Thankfully, it tasted pretty good. If I had some fat-free yogurt or fat-free sour cream, I would have put a small bit in there--it would definitely round out the taste very nicely but the soup works for me as is. Enjoy!"

Janet from The Taste Space has two dishes this week--a soup and a salad. For her soup, this lovely Greens Soup with Ginger she says, "They say to eat a rainbow, but I am trying to eat more green, as the reds and oranges come too naturally to me. ... I preferred the soup prior to pureeing it, where I could taste each individual ingredient. The caramelized onions lent a delicious sweetness to the soup, the ginger a bit of bite, the sweet potato proffered its creaminess, all the while dancing around the multitude of greens (feel free to substitute your favourites). You pile in so many vegetables but they wilt down nicely, as you can see."

Janet's second dish is this colorful Raw Kale and Beet Salad with Raisins and Almonds about which she says, "I really liked the mixture of the massaged/wilted kale with a sharp lemon dressing, raw grated beets with sweet dried fruit (a mixture of raisins, currants and dried cranberries works well) as well as crunchy toasted almonds. Before I made this salad, I didn’t know you could eat raw beets, but you can, and they taste great."

Katerina from Culinary Flavors is back at Souper Sundays this week with a healthy and colorful Green Salad with Catalina Dressing. She says, "The dressing for this salad was superb and I made a whole bottle which dressed many of our salads apart from this one. The recipe for this dressing is a copycat from Kraft’s Catalina Salad Dressing and you can find it in cdkitchen. I recommend this to you with closed eyes and it is a dressing that pleases all ages."

One sandwich and one new face to welcome this week, V from The V Kitchen: Vegetarian Recipes from India and Around the World who made these Pita and Falafel Wraps and says, "Finally, I made it happen ! Yes, I baked some pitas 15 days back and they came out all flat with extremely small bubbles. Imagine the disappointment on my face :( I then went through every blog on the blogosphere which had provided tips on puffing up a pita and made them again this weekend. It is usually had with some dips like hummus/za'atar/tahini sauce or with some falafels. The falafel wrap is a tasty combination of all these and makes healthy and filling lunch/dinner." Welcome V Kitchen!

Thanks to all who joined in this week with their fabulous dishes. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

***Giveaway Reminder***
Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a copy of a great foodie novel, "The Kitchen Daughter" by Jael McHenry. Details on how to enter and my review of the book are here.

Happy May Day (or Lei Day here in Hawaii) ;-)

Have a healthy, happy week!


  1. I agree with K and S...a yummy round-up! Thanks for hosting it!

  2. Add more nut butter? You don't have to tell me twice! This soup sounds delicious and I love how healthy it is!

  3. Your soup looks great! Nice and creamy! Thanks!

  4. Thanks for hosting Deb! This soup looks full of vitamins and energy!

  5. Una crema de coliflor muy exquisita llena de vitaminas,tu plato se ve hermoso,me encanta tu cocina,me quedo aquí,tus otros platos se ven maravillosos,buena semana,cariños y abrazos.

  6. The cauliflower soup looks really great, very neat with the addition of nut butter.

  7. That is quite a nice roundup!

  8. Wow, lots of nice greens in this week's ss roundup. I'm lovin' that.

    I think the no oil portion of this diet would be the hardest part of the challenge, but you really pulled it through with this recipe. It looks thick, filling, and healthy, which is a magic combination:) The Kale butter sounds like a winner to me.

  9. Love a good cauliflower soup and this one looks tasty! Great roundup!


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