I love soups. I didn’t always, because I associated them with sickness and hospitals. Then I realized that I could stop pretending, an try to eat something that can stay with me. I love making broths with marrow bones, but I also like thicker soups. This is one of my new favorites, originally called Winter White Velvet Soup, but I call it simply Winter Soup (coz I am lazy and un-fancy). It allows me to eat things I usually have trouble with, such as parsnips and cauliflower, and celebrate my love for garlic! It doesn’t contain any sort of milk, so that way you got the lactose-intolerant crowd covered, and if you didn’t want to use delicious beef broth (but you should at least try!), you could substitute that for veggie broth and it would be vegetarian.
I know it’s spring, but here in the Pacific Northwest, we still get these rainy, gray days, where you want to just stay inside (I don’t, and end up in hailstorms with my dog and my cat, but that’s another topic), so you can probably still get one or two batches of this in (and who cares, if you want to eat it in July, you go ahead and do it. Might be hard to find cauliflower though). The original recipe is from over at the Cafe Sucre Farine (great name, btw), but here are my modifications:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium leeks
- 4 medium shallots, quartered
- 8 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 6 cups homemade beef broth
- 1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
- 2 medium potatoes, roughly chopped (get Idaho if you can)
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
- ½ teaspoon white pepper, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger (good for your belly!)
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or stock pot) over medium heat. Add leeks, shallots and garlic. Reduce heat to medium low and sauté mixture until soft and slightly golden, about 15 minutes.
- Add beef broth, cauliflower, potatoes, parsnips, salt and white pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a constant simmer and cover. Cook until everything is very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- Puree with an immersion blender* or regular blender until smooth and velvety. If soup is too thick add a bit more broth to thin. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of the diced red bell pepper and chopped parsley.
This soup is very filling, especially if you add bread that has gone stale as croutons, like I did in my little pic. It usually comes to three meals for two people