Since my first post went out to my mom, it only makes sense that I post for another influential person in my life: my dad.
His favorite recipe of mine is a winter cauliflower and leek soup topped with black pepper croutons. Since summer is almost fully upon us, I wanted to update this dish with brighter flavors to transition it to spring. It helps that cauliflower, the base of this soup, is back in season in June. Cauliflower gives this soup its luxurious creamy texture, leaving no need for heavy cream or butter.
Leeks add a soft spring onion flavor, and lemon and tarragon are a bright ode to the season. This one pot dish is easy to whip up, and the perfect accompaniment for an early spring dinner. Its creamy mouth feel leaves you feeling like your eating comfort food, and the bright spring flavors linger on your palate as a promise of all the sunshine to come.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other heart healthy oil)
- 2 leeks
- 2 stalks celery , chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 Yukon gold potato , chopped
- 1 head cauliflower , separated into small florets
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons minced tarragon
To prepare the leeks first chop off the dark ends and root tip and discard. You will only need the white and light green portion. Next slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Chop into one inch pieces. The pieces should resemble small half moons. Place the leeks in a bowl and cover with cold water. Swirl the leeks in the water. This dislodges any dirt or sand hiding in the leeks. Any dirt should settle to the bottom leaving the clean leaks on top. Remove the clean leeks from the water and set aside.
In a large saucepan melt the coconut oil. Once the coconut oil is melted add in the leeks, celery, and salt. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are softened, but not browned. This should take 5-7 minutes.
Add in the potato, cauliflower, and garlic. Cover the vegetables with a lid to trap in the steam and sauté the vegetables, string every 5 minutes to prevent browning, until they are fork tender. This should take about 20 minutes.
Once the vegetables are softened stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat. Stir in the coconut milk, pepper, nutmeg, lemon zest, and lemon juice. With an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth. (A food processor will also work well.) Stir in the tarragon and serve.