April 27, 2018

Smoky Kauliflower Soup

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

4 tbsp (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower (about 3 lb/1.5 kg), cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) florets
2 tsp (10 mL) kosher salt + more to taste
1 onion, diced
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
5 cups (1.25 L) low-sodium vegetable stock
4 cups (1 L) water
2 large russet potatoes (about 2 lb/1 kg), peeled, cut in 2-inch (5 cm) chunks
1 chipotle chili in 2 tbsp (30 mL) adobo sauce
1 small bunch curly or black kale (about 12 oz/250 g), stemmed, leaves chopped
Freshly ground 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, leaving crumbs on cutting board. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes, or until well browned. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl. Repeat with 1-1/2 tbsp (22 mL) oil and remaining cauliflower.

In same pot, heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil on medium until shimmery. Add onion and 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 leftover crumbs, potatoes, chipotle and adobo sauce, and 2 tsp (10 mL) salt. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.

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

Using blender, purée cauliflower mixture in batches. Stir in kale and its cooking liquid. Stir in soy milk (if desired). Season with pepper. Adjust salt.

Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with smoked paprika.

Makes 16 cups (3 L).

  • Chop the kale leaves into tiny pieces; otherwise, the soup will become swampy. Save the kale stems for other uses (they can be chopped and sautéed later).
  • Non-vegans can substitute cream for the soy milk.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial