- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large leeks, root and tough dark green tops removed, cleaned and medium chopped
- 2 stalks celery, cleaned and medium chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cleaned, green stem & leaves removed and cut into 2-inch florets
- 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable stock (or low sodium chicken stock if preferred*)
- 3 cups purified water or more stock (more or less as needed)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- about 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, more or less to taste
- about 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper, more or less to taste
- finely chopped chives for garnish
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the leeks, celery, and a big pinch of salt and sauté until soft, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add the garlic, stir, and cook another minute until very fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the stock, 2 cups water, 2 teaspoons sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the bay leaf, then bring to a boil.
- Add the cauliflower florets and turn the heat to medium; simmer 30 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender.
- Discard the bay leaf.
- Puree the soup with a hand blender, or in small batches in a high-speed blender or food processor until very smooth.
- Add the pureed soup back to the pot and stir in vinegar and 1/2 to 1 cup more stock or purified water (depending on desired texture.)
- Caution: Be very careful when pureeing hot liquid in a blender or food processor as hot liquid expands. Never fill the blender or food processor more than ¼ full with a hot mixture. Work in very small batches until all of the soup is pureed.
- Garish with fresh chopped chives and a few dashes of hot sauce if desired (Cholula is my favorite). The chives really make the soup amazing. Chopped parsley or raw pumpkin seeds are also great additions.
- This soup can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight glass container for up to 3 days. It also freezes well.
I’ve been asked if this soup is great with frozen cauliflower florets. I have to admit I’ve never tried it but I do think it would be great. I’ll update here if I ever try it (or let me know if you do, I would love to know!)
For the cauliflower: cut away the leaves and green part of the cauliflower stem, but use the white part of the stem–it’s just as good as the florets.
For the leeks: first chop, then clean. Leeks tend to have a lot of dirt inside, so this is one veggie that you first chop then clean. Be sure to rinse them well so you don’t end up with dirt at the bottom of your soup.
You’ll need between 7 & 8 cups of liquid to make this soup and can use all stock or a combination of stock and water. If you use water, consider adding a vegetable bullion cube to the simmering soup.
Adding a small amount of liquid after pureeing will help avoid the baby-food texture. Add more or less liquid depending on the texture you prefer.
A Vitamix or other high-speed blender will turn this into a very smooth soup, but a food processor or hand blender will work, just be patient.
*Chicken stock is of course not vegan, but if you prefer it or are indifferent it’s great to use here.