I’m so glad it’s finally spring; I’ve definitely had enough of winter this year, as I’m sure many of you may agree. However, while I believe that winter is the best time for soup, it’s also an economical choice for lunches year-round, both financially and time-wise. Making up a batch of soup on the weekend to eat for at least a few lunches in the following week, whether working from home or offsite, is a great way to meal-prep.
I’ve written about the multi-functional wonders of cauliflower several times now, especially when it comes to subbing for meat in some of my favourite recipes (see my previous posts on cauliflower “steak”, sneaky veggie baked mac and cheese, beer battered vegan “fish” and chips, and buffalo cauliflower wraps). In this soup, however, cauliflower is the star of the show (with carrots being given the “best supporting actor” award), and isn’t pretending to be anything other than its awesome self. Roasting the vegetables brings out some delicious sweet yet toasty notes, and elevates this soup to the sublime. This soup recipe also has the added benefit of not having to be made from exclusively fresh produce; frozen cauliflower and carrots will also work well for this, if you don’t have access to fresh…just make sure the veggies are fully defrosted before roasting.
I’ve made this vegetarian recipe using dairy, but it’s extremely easy to change to a dairy-free option. This recipe is also naturally gluten-free.
Roasted Cauliflower-Carrot Soup
YIELD: 6 servings | PREP: 10 mins | ROAST: 25-30 mins | COOK: 15 mins
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets (or 4 cups frozen cauliflower)
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium white onion, diced in chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, whole (skinned and trimmed)
- 2 tbsp/30mL olive oil
- 1 tbsp/15mL liquid honey (substitute agave syrup for vegan)
- 1 tsp/7g coarse sea salt
- ½ tsp/1g white pepper
- 6 cups/1.5L vegetable broth (low sodium if possible)
- 2 tbsp/30g butter or vegan margarine
- 1 tbsp/15mL apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp/0.5g dried thyme
- ⅛ tsp/0.2g ground cayenne or hot paprika (optional)
- 2 tbsp/6g fresh chives or parsley, minced (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Toss the cauliflower florets, carrot slices, onion chunks, and whole garlic cloves with the olive oil and honey until lightly and evenly coated. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Roast until the vegetables are tender and caramelized on the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Toss veggies halfway through to cook through more evenly.
- Meanwhile, near the end of the roasting process, heat broth in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, over medium-high heat until bubbling.
- Transfer the roasted vegetables to the pot and bring the mixture back up to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat and let it cool for a few minutes; use an immersion blender to purée the soup directly in the pot; if you don’t have one, you can purée the soup in batches in a blender (caution: hot!).
- Add the butter or vegan margarine and blend in until smooth and creamy. Blend in the apple cider, thyme and cayenne. Add salt to taste.
- Serve hot with a sprinkle of snipped chives or parsley and ground black pepper.
This soup keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about three days, or can be frozen up to 3 months.