Sunday, September 28, 2014

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Tarragon (Dairy-Free) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Can there be five more beautiful words than 'soup in a bread bowl?'  I think not. Especially when that soup is creamy and full of wonderful flavor. This one manages to be all that without any dairy, getting its smooth consistency from the pureed cauliflower. Its flavor comes from the tarragon remains that I didn't want to waste away in my veggie crisper and a 'secret' ingredient--Old Bay Seasoning. It's not just for seafood and I find myself slightly obsessed with the slightly smoky/spicy notes. My local grocery store has these sour dough bread bowls for $1.69 so I couldn't resist filling one with this soup--although if you are eating gluten free, this soup is just as good in a bowl. 

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Tarragon 
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 4)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped + more to garnish 
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets--fresh or frozen
3 cups low-sodium veggie broth
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a soup pot and add onion, sautéing about 5 minutes until softened and translucent. Add tarragon and Old Bay seasoning and sauté for another minute or two. Add bay leaf, cauliflower and veggie broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

Purée using blender (carefully in batches) or handheld blender in soup pot until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve with a scattering of chopped fresh tarragon and freshly ground black pepper on top. Serve in a bread bowl or with bread for dipping. 

Notes/Results: Thick, silky-creamy and quite good for such a simple soup. The Old Bay adds depth of flavor while the tarragon gives it that little slightly bittersweet anise flavor that pairs well with the cauliflower. A good quick soup when you want something satisfying without dairy--it feels indulgent but is healthy. Cauliflower is a good source of vitamins C and K as well as other nutrients and is a good source of fiber--so eat up! I would make this again.

We have some great friends and their delectable soups and salads waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen, let's have a look!

I love a big bowl of flavorful laksa and Joyce of Kitchen Flavours has me craving her take on Nigel Slater's Pumpkin and Tomato Laksa. Joyce says, "Simple and easy to cook. Though it does not exactly taste like our local laksa which is really rich and spicy, this bowl of mild laksa makes a nice meal. This is the first time I'm using pumpkin in a noodle laksa, and it makes such an interesting ingredient. The hard-boiled eggs and fish balls are my addition. Some cooked chicken meat may be added for a more substantial meal.

I've missed Debbie of The Friday Friends at Souper Sundays and I am happy to have her back this week with a decadent Cheeseburger Paradise Soup. She says, "The Handyman LOVED this soup....and he is not a soup lover (he puts up with me because I do love it). He raved about it, which can only mean a couple of things: 1. It was really good 2. It was filling and hearty (emphasis on the filling, because that is his beef with soup usually. He feels it's more of a first course). He said, and I quote:  'it has beef, potatoes, and cheese and bacon, what more do you need?'   He is right. What more do you need?"

My friend and fellow IHCC co-host Sue of Couscous & Consciousness made Nigel Slater's Pea & Lettuce Soup and says, "This recipe is ridiculously quick and easy to make, deliciously fresh, and light enough that you could actually serve this as part of a multi-course meal. I seldom have soup other than as a meal in it's own right, but this one could definitely fit into a bigger meal without filling you up too much. It's pretty and elegant, and I wouldn't hesitate to serve this to company. I hope you'll give it a try."

Mireille of Chef Mireille's East West Realm has both soup and a salad to share this week.  First, Coconut Milk Bean Soup from Tanzania. She says, "The flavors in this soup reminded me a lot of Bahia soups and stews. Bahia is the coastal Atlantic coast of Brazil where the African descended community of Brazil is concentrated. The flavors in this reminded me of Bahia seafood stews which I have made in the past. The Bahia also eat black eyed peas a lot. You can't help but consider the African cuisine stayed intact although traveling so many miles and over oceans."

Next, Mireille made Green Bean Raspberry Salad and says, "Inspired from an Asparagus & Orange Salad in my The Best Ever Vegetarian Cookbook, I used the dressing recipe from the book, but changed the major elements of the salad. By using smoked paprika, it adds a Spanish flair to this simple salad. Although I've blanched the beans in this salad, I also like green beans fact I was snacking on them on the 2 hour train trip back to the city... and you can also make this salad with raw green beans."

Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe Blog stops by this week with a bright and colorful Simple Salad with Sprouts. She says, "On a bad day, lunch is a peanut butter sandwich.  Sometimes I am quite proud of my lunch.  This salad started with a craving for bean sprouts.  It was just what I wanted.  Leafy, colourful, crunchy, juicy, sharp and sweet.  It is a bit like the crunchy salads that I posted about years ago.  I still make those sort of salads occasionally and this is one of them."

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes shares two salads this week. First her Balsamic Roasted Beets, Quinoa and Kale Salad. Pam says, "If you are looking for a gorgeous fall salad, you have come to the right place!  Just look at those beets!  They look like candy and they tasted like candy!  If you have never roasted beets with balsamic vinegar you are in for a treat (this recipe even ups the candy factor by including brown sugar).  The quinoa and kale are balanced perfectly by the sweet beets.  The original recipe called for speck, but I subbed bacon – close enough!  If you are not a meat eater, just leave off the bacon, this would still be good!"

Pam's second dish is this Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Warm Goat Cheese Rounds. She says, "Oh yes, fall. Love it. I especially love seeing all the winter squashes start appearing and thanks to my CSA, I had another gorgeous acorn squash to work with. You know what’s another thing I love? Cheese. Goat cheese in particular. Toss some warm (yes warm!) goat cheese rounds on a salad and I don’t even quibble about the missing meat."

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

Have a happy, healthy week! 


  1. Gluten Free A-Z BlogSeptember 28, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Hi Deb,
    I didn't have anything to share this week, but I stopped by to see the soup recipes. I'm intrigued with the lettuce and pea soup as well as the cauliflower soup. Both sound like soups I'd like to try.

  2. This is what I want for dinner...bread bowl definitely included!

  3. Love your soup in the bread! Yummy! Perfect, no need to wash extra any soup plate! Haha! lazy me!
    Delicious round-up!


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)