Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup to Sooth the Soul

Similar to white cauliflower, this vegetable's vibrant purple actually not only adds beauty but nutrition as well! Its hue is a result of those amazing flavonoids and, hidden within, an abundance of vitamins and healthy fiber too!

A lesser known fact, although white cauliflower is in the same family as cabbage, purple cauliflower is actually in the same family as broccoli, the brassica family. And now the nod to its health benefits begins to make sense! And for appearance sake, when you see it in the garden, compared to the tighter inner heads of a cauliflower plant, purple cauliflower grows outward and produces bunches of florets similar to the way that broccoli grows.

It’s purple hue is due to elements called anthocyanins; these antioxidant flavonoids belong to the group of phenolic antioxidants that are also found in red cabbage, red wine and blueberries. Starting to get the picture? As has been widely publicized, these flavonoids hold a myriad of potential health benefits, including the ability to help stabilize capillary walls. That’s significant since weak capillary walls allow toxic substances to permeate into cells, which can be detrimental to the entire body.

And for fiber, it’s a powerhouse! Dietary fiber’s so important to overall health primarily because it can help regulate cholesterol, improve digestion and waste elimination, and can even benefit weight loss goals since it helps to keep you feeling full longer. For every 100g of purple cauliflower, you receive 12 g of fiber which makes the purple cauliflower an amazingly good choice since the recommended daily intake of fiber each day is a total of 25 to 30g.

And for vitamins and minerals, it clearly is an asset. For example, 100g of purple cauliflower contains over 100% of the recommended daily values of vitamin C. And, in addition, you’ll have 25% percent of the recommended DV of vitamin K, 14% DV of folate and 11% DV of vitamin B6. It also offers 12% percent DV of manganese and 9% DV of potassium. Wow! We are amazed too! What champion when it comes to nourishment!

But don’t let all this talk of health be the reason you choose this beautiful vegetable. It’s flavor is almost reward in itself! Enjoy!

Roasted Purple Cauliflower and Leek Soup 

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 head purple cauliflower, about 3 cups roughly chopped
1 leek, halved, cleaned and white part, chopped (about 1 cups)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
scant bit of olive oil

½ cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
3 - 4 cups vegetable broth
dash of smoked paprika
1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
sea salt, to taste
dash of red pepper flakes

Optional: splash of apple cider vinegar prior to serving

Method:

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Toss cauliflower with scant bit of olive oil, place on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, just until it begins to brown slightly, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a small drizzle of olive oil to a medium saucepan.  Add the leek and sauté briefly.  Add the garlic and sauté just until you sense its aroma. Add most of the cauliflower, reserving some of the florets for garnish, and toss to combine.  Add enough broth to cover and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes and remove from the burner.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then add half of the mixture and broth to the Vitamix along with the remaining ingredients up to the apple cider vinegar and pureé.  Remove to your serving vessel and pureé the remaining mixture.  Add to the first mixture and stir to combine. 

Adjust consistency with additional vegetable broth as needed and taste to adjust for seasonings.  Add a splash of apple cider vinegar, stir and serve.

Take just a moment before diving in.  Close your eyes and take a deep breath.  Remember how this warming bowl of goodness will not only nourish your body but envelope your soul as well to sustain you through the cold, rainy and windy days of winter.  Enjoy!


Annette Shafer
Annette Shafer

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