I love soup at any time of the year but there is something special about this as a comfort food in winter, cupping your bowl in your hands and breathing in the delicious aroma ahh…. I’m also committed to including more vegetarian meals in my weekly menu – helps having a vegetarian 9yo who provides me with the impetus to come up with new and tasty ideas! Not to mention endeavouring to please a very fussy 7yo so I’m very pleased to say she loves this recipe, so it is a win here at Chez FNL all round!
I garnished the soup with my homemade aromatic Hazelnut & Pistachio Dukkah (recipe next so keep an eye out for it!) which gives the soup that bit of crunch – because the lentils are processed smooth the dukkah provides some interesting texture, as well as a Middle Eastern spin on the classic cauliflower soup. I find cauliflower soup to be quite light so I added a tin of drained lentils which ups the fibre content so makes it more filling and better on the budget too. You could use dried lentils but it takes much longer to cook.
I love cauliflower – it is so versatile! It has a subtle flavour so it is important to roast it first to get that delicious caramelisation – we want it to be the star of the show. I also like to save a small roasted floret to garnish the soup – looks very professional and adds another interesting texture. Nutritionally cauliflower is packed full of the good stuff like B group vitamins, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C and potassium.
I used my thermo cooker (Bellini, how I love thee!) to prepare this delicious soup so I’ve provided the directions below. However if you don’t have a thermo cooker, the prep is still easy enough – just roast the cauliflower first – I used an air fryer as it only takes 5 minutes at 200oC. Then add to a pot on the stove with the other soup ingredients, cook until tender and then use a stick blender to puree the soup. Lastly just add the cream , your desired garnishes and you’re done.
I love the taste of chicken stock in soups but this recipe still tastes amazing with vegetable stock – just make sure it is a high quality stock to really bring out the flavour of the cauliflower without overpowering it. Also, just a quick tip – to rinse the tinned lentils first just open the can enough to drain the brine then pour some water back in the tin and drain again. Just watch to ensure you don’t lose any of those little lentils, they slip out easily! And if you’re using a thermo mixer, please use the measuring cup locked in place in the lid and exercise caution when blending – we don’t want any burns!! I let the soup cool down for a few minutes with the lid off and gradually increase the speed to avoid decorating the ceiling and myself with soup – what a waste of good food!
Roasted Cauliflower & Lentil Soup
This soup is not only delicious but also simple, quick and easy to prepare with your pantry essentials - sure to please even the fussiest eater!
- 900g cauliflower florets
- 2 leeks, white part only, halved
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter/margarine
- 750 ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 420g tin lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup cream
- 1 small roasted floret to the side, sprinkle of Hazelnut & Pistachio Dukkah, 1 tbsp unsweetened plain yoghurt to garnish (optional)
- Place the leeks and garlic to the bowl and chop – speed 6 for 5 sec and scrape down the sides with the spatula.
- Add the butter/margarine and oil to the bowl, and saute the leek and garlic mix for 3 minutes at 100oC.
- Add the cauliflower florets and roast for 7 minutes at 100oC. Separately roast a small floret per serve either in the preheated oven for 10 min or preheated air fryer for 5 minutes at 200oC and set aside to garnish (optional).
- Place stock and drained lentils into the bowl and cook for 15 minutes speed 1 (on reverse for Thermomixers).
- Slightly cool the soup for approx 5 minutes then blend the soup until smooth, I increase from speed 3 to speed 8 gradually, being careful to not let the soup escape out of the lid and measuring cup
- Add the cream, mix at speed 4 for 5 sec
- That’s it! Just serve with your desired garnishes and some crusty fresh bread mmmm…..