I'm a huge fan of soup. When made consciously, it can be a a great way to fill yourself up without filling yourself out, if you know what I mean. I especially love making soups like this cauliflower and chive soup because it has all the decadence and mouth feel of a creamy soup, but it doesn't contain a drop of cream. In fact, it has no dairy at all, making this a great recipe for someone who is vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free, or on a low-calorie diet.
Cauliflower is one of my favorite cruciferous vegetables. Not only is it very low in calories, but it also has some fantastic health benefits. Cauliflower contains several anti-cancer phyto-chemicals like sulforaphane and plant sterols such as indole-3-carbinol, which appears to function as an anti-estrogen agent. Together these compounds have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, and ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer-cell growth inhibition and cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. It contains good amounts of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as folates, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), hiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3), and vitamin K. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the body requires them from external sources to replenish stores, and they are required for fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism. Fresh cauliflower is also an excellent source of vitamin C; 100 g provides about 48.2 mg or 80% of daily recommended value.
Cauliflower and Chive Soup
This healthy vegan soup packs quite a vitamin-rich punch---and I love how it tastes, too!
By Christina Stanley
olive oil: 2 tablespoons
red onion: 1, diced small
garlic: 2 cloves, chopped
kosher salt: ½ teaspoon
black pepper: ¼ teaspoon
cauliflower: 2 heads, chopped
low-sodium chicken stock: 1 (15 ounce) box
chives: 1/3 cup + 4 tablespoons, finely chopped
Step 1: Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat so onions are cooking but not browning, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Step 2: Add the cauliflower, stir to combine, cover, and cook 3 minutes.
Step 3: Add in the broth and 1/3 cup of chives and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover to maintain a steady simmer.
Step 4: Cook soup until the cauliflower is tender to the bite, about 10--12 minutes.
Step 5: Allow the soup to cool for about 10 minutes, then pour it into a blender or food processoer. (NOTE: Never try to puree or process hot liquid. It is very dangerous.) You may have to puree the soup in two batches. Puree until smooth, then add back to the pot and set the heat to medium until the soup is heated through. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining chives.
Note: Soup may be kept in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 4 months or in the refrigerator for 5 days.