Frigid nights are no match for this super comfy cozy roasted cauliflower and leek soup! It’s incredibly savory (thanks to that garlic parmesan broth), a bit nutty, and oh so creamy. Top it with an absurd amount of dill and a big ole dollop of creme fraiche because you deserve it. Technically, there are a few potatoes hiding in there as well, but I won’t tell if you won’t :).
P.S. always save your parmesan rinds so you can make garlic parmesan broth!
- Leeks are typically very dirty, here’s an easy guide on how to clean and slice them.
- This recipe uses 2 potatoes, I find they give a better texture than just cauliflower alone. You could certainly replace the potatoes with more cauliflower if you are trying to reduce carbs. Parsnips or sunchokes would also be great. Personally, I say treat yourself to a potato!
For the Garlic Parmesan Broth
Adapted from the “Garlic Broth” recipe from Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 4 heads garlic
- 12 cups water
- 1 parmesan rind (or more if you have them!)
For the soup
- 1 head cauliflower, about 1.75 pounds
- 1+ tbsp olive oil
- 2 large yukon gold potatoes, about 1.25 pounds, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp better than bouillon roasted vegetable base, see note*
- 1 + 3 tbsp butter
- 1 llb leeks (about 3 large leeks with the tops still on), tops removed, cleaned thoroughly, and sliced into rings.
- 4 oz creme fraiche (or sour cream), plus more for topping
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- Salt to taste
- Lots of freshly grated black pepper.
- Scallions and dill for topping
*the better than bouillon is optional, but it adds a fantastic depth of flavor. If you don’t use it, you will want to add much more salt than you think you will need.
First, make the broth
- Cut the garlic cloves in half widthwise.
- Heat a large dutch oven or stock pot (at least 5 QTs) over medium heat. Add 2 tsp olive oil.
- Add the garlic cloves, cut side down. Let brown for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the water, along with the parmesan rind and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to just below a simmer (so it’s bubbling, but not a lot), and let cook for 1 hour.
While the broth cooks, roast the cauliflower and saute the leeks
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the stem from the cauliflower and rough chop into large pieces.
- Place on a sheet pan and coat in olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper.
- Roast until golden brown and soft, about 40 minutes.
- While the cauliflower cooks, heat a pan over medium and add 1 tbsp of butter.
- Add the leeks and saute until very soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Putting it all together
- When the broth is finished, remove garlic heads and parmesan rind. Don’t remove any cloves that have fallen out during the process. Those will add extra flavor 🙂
- Add the potatoes, roasted cauliflower, sauteed leeks, and better than bouillon, and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer until everything is very soft, about 40 minutes -1 hour.
- Use an immersion blender to “lightly” puree. I prefer my soup a bit chunky. Alternatively, use a blender and pulse a few times.
- Depending on how much your liquid reduced during the cooking process, you may want to add a bit of water here to get your desired consistency.
- Add the creme fraiche, butter, parmesan, and loooooots of black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Remove from heat and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Top with scallions, fresh dill, and more creme fraiche.
Parmesan rinds are wonderful ingredients!