April 27, 2018

Smoky Kauliflower Soup

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This vegan soup has delicious depths thanks to caramelized cauliflower, chopped kale and and smoked chipotle chili. It is very thick, creamy and satisfying. Inspired by a recipe at SeriousEats.com.

       Kale + cauliflower = kauliflower. Credit: Susan Sampson


1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large cauliflower (3 lb/1.5 kg), cored, cut in florets (1-inch/2.5 cm wide), divided
2 tsp (10 mL) kosher salt + more to taste
1 yellow onion, diced
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
5 cups (1.25 L) low-sodium vegetable stock, divided
4 cups (1 L) water
2 large russet potatoes (total 2 lb/1 kg), peeled, cut in chunks (2 inch/5 cm)
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) adobo sauce from chipotles
1 bunch curly or black kale (12 oz/250 g), stemmed, leaves chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Soy milk to taste (optional)
Smoked paprika to taste

In large, wide pot, heat 1-1/2 tbsp (22 mL) oil on medium-high until shimmery. Add half the cauliflower, but leave crumbs on cutting board. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes, or until browned. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl. Repeat with 1-1/2 tbsp (22 mL) oil, remaining cauliflower and salt to taste. Reserve cauliflower crumbs.

In same pot, heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil on medium until shimmery. Add onion. Cook, stirring often, 1 to 2 minutes, until softened. Stir in garlic 30 seconds. Add 4 cups (1 L) each stock and water. Add browned cauliflower and reserved crumbs. Add potatoes, chipotle, adobo sauce and 2 tsp (10 mL) salt. Heat on high. When liquid comes to boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 30 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.

Meanwhile, in medium pan, bring remaining 1 cup (250 mL) stock to boil on medium-high heat. Stir in kale. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Steam 5 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat.

Using blender, purée cauliflower mixture in batches. Return to pan. Stir in kale (with cooking liquid). Stir in soy milk (if desired). Add pepper. Adjust salt.

Ladle into serving bowls. Sprinkle with smoked paprika.

Makes 16 cups (3 L).

  • Non-vegans can substitute 10% cream for the soy milk.

Shopping Cart: You’ll need 1 small bunch curly kale or 1 medium bunch black kale. The latter is the best quality kale. It is sold in smaller bunches. Look for chipotle chilies in adobo sauce in the supermarket’s Mexican food area.

Oh No: The soup will become swampy if you fail to chop the kale leaves into tiny pieces.

Waste Not: Save the kale stems. They can be trimmed, chopped and sautéed later.