Sunday, February 21, 2010

Creamy Cauliflower, Fennel, and Leek Soup with Almond Oil for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Cooler weather (OK that just means light blankets and socks here but it is cooler!) always has me craving thick, creamy, comforting soups. I saw this recipe for Creamy Cauliflower, Fennel, and Leek Soup in Natural Solutions magazine and liked the combination of ingredients; cauliflower, fennel, leek and celery, thickened with almond milk and drizzled with almond oil. This soup if full of healthy fats (monounsaturated), good for you veggies, and according to the article full of pH-balancing alkaline ingredients.

Creamy Cauliflower, Fennel, and Leek Soup with Almond Oil
Lisa Turner, Natural Solutions, March 2010
(Serves 4)

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large leek, washed well and thinly sliced (reserve a few slices for garnish)
2 medium stalks celery, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 large head cauliflower, cored and chopped (about 5 cups)
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp almond oil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded, for garnish (optional)

Warm coconut oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, celery, and fennel; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add cauliflower and broth. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until cauliflower is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in almond milk, and remove from heat.

Puree soup in batches in a food processor or blender until creamy and smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon almond oil.

Divide soup among four bowls; drizzle with remaining almond oil. Garnish with basil. Soup can be served hot or chilled.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: 203 calories; 12g fat; 3g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 6g protein; 22g carbohydrates; 9g fiber; 265mg sodium.

Notes/Results: Creamy and good. It's a subtle soup, rather than a "smack-you-in-the-face" with flavor one, but it works well. It is simple and relatively quick to make (under 40 minutes, all in). The almond milk gives it a nice creamy texture and the drizzled almond oil is a nice touch, although you could substitute with another light or flavored oil. It did need couple of small pinches of sea salt (not in the recipe) to bring out the flavor. I tried it both hot and chilled as the recipe suggested and although it was good cold, I think it's best hot as it brings more of the subtle flavors out. It was great as a light dinner with some toasted whole grain baguette. I would make this again.

Let's see who is in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week:

Such a pleasure to have my friend Laurie from That's Not What The Recipe Says back at Souper Sunday this week. Laurie brought a Creamy Spinach & Broccoli Soup, about which she says, "Some food just does not photograph well and this soup certainly qualifies. No matter what angle I tried, it just looked like a big bowl of green mush. The dollop of plain yogurt didn't improve the photo, but it did add a nice tangy flavor that melded well with the lemon juice I added at the end of the cooking process. But it sure was tasty. I've been trying to eat more veggies, lots more veggies, and soup is my favorite lunch."

The lovely Graziana from
Erbe in Cucina has a soup she made for her combo Chinese New Year / Valentine's Day dinner, this Chinese Soup with Ginger and Coriander. Graziana says that this recipe with Chinese cabbage, diced ham, cucumber and of course the ginger and coriander makes "A warm and tasty soup." It's always fun to see what Graiziana creates with the amazing bounty from her garden!

Chaya has a soup to share from each of her two blogs this week. From her Sweet and Savory blog she has a hearty crock pot New England Sweet Potato Soup. Chaya says "This turned out to be the best soup, I have made and I didn't have a clue, it was going to happen." You can find out the story behind the success of her soup and why she says, "I could have finished the pot." by visiting her blog.

At Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog, she has her version of Nigella Lawson's Green Pea Soup. Chaya says, "I am making an honest effort to feed the family healthier meals. My husband is the happiest, in the winter, with soup, each night. I was concerned that my husband was not going to like the balsamic vinegar in the pea soup and tensely waited to hear if he had something to say. Silence – uh oh – he doesn’t like it. I look over at him. Of course, he is quiet. He is busy enjoying his soup. Then an exclamation. This is good soup!"

Donna from My Tasty Treasures is here and has a comforting soup to share. She says, "This Paprika Chicken Stew with Potato Pierogi meal is a Rachael Ray .. original here. Tasty take on a quick version of chicken paprikash. It is different in that is is made in 30 minutes or so, and is served with pierogies. Tastes better as it sits so make stew a day ahead if you can. Tasty, satisfying weeknight meal."

Finally we have one sandwich this week from my best pal Natashya at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies; and what a sammie it is: Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Burger with Double Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Vidalia Onion, and Horseradish Mustard. Natashya says, "Is that a burger or is that a burger? That ain't no slider, that is a two-handed, unhinge your jaw and only eat in front of people who love you honest-to-goodness hamburger."

Another delicious week--thanks to everyone who joined in. 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.

Have a great week!


  1. The creamy cauliflower soup sounds amazing! I just can't imagine Hawaii gets too cold. :)

  2. Such an elegant and adult looking soup - I would expect to be served that at a fancy restaurant - you know, the ones with cloth napkins.. :)
    Funny about recipes without salt. Like they omit it when they type it up - who cooks without salt?

    Delicious round-up!

  3. Wonderful roundup, Deb! Thanks so much for including me.

    I want to try your soup next!

  4. As always, love Souper Sunday. Thanks for doing this Deb

  5. wow! that burger sure looked amazing as well as all those nummy soups!

  6. Coconut oil? I'm totally intrigued. I've never seen it, and I adore coconut anything. What a beautiful soup, Deb. As for the rest... I did a double take at Natshya's sandwich. Yummy!

  7. Whoa that cauliflower soup looks incredibly creamy. And if YOU'RE cold. Imagine how the rest of us feel! Excellent round-up.

  8. Wonderful round-up, as ever! I really like the look of Laurie's pondscum soup!

  9. That cauliflower, fennel and leek soup sounds heavenly, Deb. Love the drizzle of almond oil and your pics are fantastic!

    Great round-up as usual. Yum!

  10. Your creamy cauliflower soup looks gorgeous! You could charge big money for that one:D
    I also loved Donna's chicken paprika stew with the pierogies! That one looks really comforting. My husband, on the other hand, is drooling over Natashya's burger!

  11. What a lovely soup, Deb. The round up is, as always, terrific. You do a nice job of showcasing each of the participants. Have a great day.

  12. GREAT soups! Really enjoyed this post!

  13. wow amazing soup leek and cauliflower oh yeah

  14. I simply have to get around to trying more nut oils. There are so many out there and I overlook them every time. The almond oil in this sounds so great!

  15. I love the drizzle of the almond oil over that delicious creamy soup! Yum!

  16. your soup has me drooling!! I absolutely love cauliflower

  17. A friend aimed me at your site in my new healthier eating. I just made the Cauliflower, fennel and leeks soup and all I can say is mmmmGOOD!


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