Cauliflower Soup with Parsley | Adapted from Vegan Italiano, Donna Klein | Makes 6 servings
Everyone who knows me will tell you that I am most definitely not a vegetarian, let alone a vegan. Despite my omnivore tendencies, I can push the meat aside every now and then (lent is my limit so far) and appreciate some fine vegetarian fare. But vegan? That rarely happens. I guess I like butter too much! So when I came across this vegan recipe, I was intrigued with the uncomplicated ingredient list. I decided to put the “simple is better” adage to the test, and the results were yummy- and satisfying. This is a soup that I would happily serve as a first course, or for lunch with a salad and some crusty bread (and butter of course). Note: The 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes created more heat than expected. I suggest starting with 1/8 teaspoon first.
1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and cut into 1/2-inch florets
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (I recommend 1/8 teaspoon)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a bit for boling water in stockpot
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Bring a medium stockpot filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
2. Place the oil in the stockpot and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cauliflower; cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the broth, salt, and black pepper; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
5. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor fitted with a knife blade, or to a blender (I use an immersion blender right in the pot). Process until smooth and pureed.
6. Return mixture to the pot and stir in the parsley. Adjust seasonings to taste. Cook over low heat until heated through. Serve hot.