Is anyone else as obsessed with soup as I am this time of year? I could eat it every single day. There is something so comforting about soup. Even though we have had a mild winter, no matter what, every day that it has been the slightest bit cold, I have craved some type of soup or stew.
Lately I have really been enjoying these simple to make creamy, but vegan pureed soups. Hearty, filling and so good for you! This soup might actually be my new favorite. It has so much delicious robust and deep flavor from the roasted cauliflower and garlic, with just a hint of heat from the red pepper flakes. It is creamy but still light and the depth of flavor is just incredible. What is even more incredible is how few ingredients it takes and how quick it is to make. I threw this together yesterday after lunch to be ready for dinner, and it was so quick and easy.
[print_this]Creamy Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup
1 large head (or 2 small) cauliflower (about 2 to 2 1/5 lbs) cut into 1-inch florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole head of garlic
1 medium onion, diced
4 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 425ºF
Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the individual cloves intact and the bulb still whole. Cut off about 1/4 inch from the top of the cloves. Place the head of garlic in a small piece of foil, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil (just a teaspoon or two). Wrap the foil around the garlic head tightly.
Toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Add the pan of cauliflower to the top rack in your oven and the garlic head wrapped in foil, on the bottom rack. Bake both for about 30-40 minutes. You can gently toss the cauliflower around, once or twice in that time.
You want the cauliflower to be a golden to dark brown color and the garlic head to be very fragrant and soft to the touch. Allow the garlic to cool so you can touch it. With your hands or a small knife, squeeze each of the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl, It should look like a thick paste. Set the cauliflower and garlic aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over a medium-high heat and add the diced onion. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the cauliflower, roasted garlic, stock, Herbes de Provence and red pepper flakes. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
Purée with an immersion blender or in batches using a regular blender or food processor*, until smooth. Return puree to pot, bring to a simmer, salt and pepper to taste. Thin soup with more broth if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with a pinch of fresh thyme.
* When puréeing hot soup in a blender or food processor, do so in small batches, filling the blender pitcher only about halfway. Put the lid on, but remove that small cap in the lid (if you have it) and hold the lid down tight with a towel, otherwise the steam will cause the lid to explode off, spewing hot liquid everywhere. This has never happened to me, but it can, so be careful.