Here’s my darling Nana (in the middle), with my cousin Molly and her mom, Aunt Therese. I remember this day. I think Therese was visiting from Minnesota so of course the thing to do is take a Mid-Westerner to the beach for a picnic. Well, the fog rolled in. It was windy and cold and people were probably sort of miserable. I was 10, so I probably didn’t care. I’m sure I was chasing the waves, my favorite beach pastime.
I don’t know about you, but a cold foggy day calls for a nice hot bowl of soup. And since I did not cook this weekend, and therefore not prepared for Nana Wednesday, I had to make it a quick soup that is easy to make. I don’t think this soup can get any easier.
This is all you need–well, some salt and pepper too, which is not pictured.
This is how I like to cut the tough part off of the leek. See, the middle stays light and tender, so if you shave them off at an angle, you’ll yield more leek.
Leeks are dirty little buggers. Slice lengthwise then crosswise into thin slices.
Put them into a bowl and fill with cold water. Let them sit there at least 10 minutes, so that all the sand sinks to the bottom of the bowl.
Meanwhile, core the cauliflower.
And cut it roughly into 1-inch pieces. You’re going to puree the soup later, so don’t worry about them looking pretty.
SCOOP the leeks out–don’t strain! The dirt will just get back in them. Saute in about 2 Tbsp butter. Season with salt.
Fast forward 8-10 minutes, the leeks will be pretty limp, fragrant and taste sweet.
Add in the chopped cauliflower and 6 cups chicken stock. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook until the cauliflower is quite tender.
Got immersion blender?
If you answered yes, then whiz up the soup until smooth. If you answered no, then go buy one. But until then, use a blender, working in batches. A food mill will work too.
Looks kind of like milk. Put back on the heat, medium-low.
Add about a cup of half-and-half or cream. I used the half-and-half because I’m on a diet.
Next add in a Tbsp of butter–that diet didn’t last long–some herbs (I used chive and parsley), and salt and pepper to taste. Use a fair amount of salt and pepper because it hasn’t really been seasoned at all until now.
Put a sprinkle of herbs on top for serving, if you want to be fancy.
You don’t even have to wait for a cold, blustery day. This soup would be delicious anytime.
1 large cauliflower, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs
Saute leeks in 2 Tbsp butter until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add broth and cauliflower and simmer until cauliflower is tender. Puree soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return to low heat. Add half-and-half or cream. Season with herbs, salt and pepper and the remaining Tbsp butter. Garnish with more herbs, if desired.
*This can be made with broccoli in place of the cauliflower.
**For a curried version, cook 1-1/2 tsp. curry powder with the butter over low heat for 3 minutes before adding the leeks.