The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Roasted Leek and Cauliflower soup

January 17, 2013 , , ,

It’s soup time people – lets get our acts together!

Last Saturday, I spent the morning making a giant pot of black beans and I can honestly say I haven’t made anything that satisfying in awhile. I’ve been eating those suckers all week and I could keep going – no problem. Pulling out my big red Le Crueset for reasons other than to make room in my oven got my soup thoughts flowing. And then I managed to catch the Food52 call for community testers at same time.

I was excited to see that leeks were the highlighted ingredient. Potato leek? Yes please! But oh no, the folks at Food52 are not that common and I was excited to see the below recipe for Roasted Leek and Cauliflower Soup with Green Apple Vinaigrette. I choose it for two reasons. One – it looked slightly healthy. (Yes, there’s that ½ cup of half and half but who’s counting? ) Two – Who doesn’t love leeks, cauliflower and whatever green apple vinaigrette is?

This soup is interesting. Without a doubt, you need the green apple vinaigrette. It adds a kick to the soup that is needed. A healthy dollop mixed in rounds out the flavors and adds a bit of depth.

You can see the original recipe here. (Created by Gingerroot.) I made a small edit to the roasting which is to take the foil off after 15 minutes. Leaving it on leaves you with steamed veggies, not giving us the caramelized flavor that’s nice with roasted cauliflower. Also, why not add some celery or a clove of garlic to the soup? Couldn’t hurt!


For the green apple vinaigrette
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
• 1 teaspoon fish sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1/4 cup Granny Smith apple, diced very small (brunoise, 1/8 inch cubed)

1. In a small bowl, emulsify the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon and fish sauce. Add diced apple and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until soup is ready, about one hour.


For soup
• 4 large leeks
• 3 cups cauliflower florets with stem
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
• Pinches of kosher salt plus more to taste if necessary
• 1/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy)
• 3 cups good chicken stock
• 1/2 cup half-and-half


1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. Thoroughly wash and trim ends – root and dark green tops – of leeks, so you just have white and pale green stalks. Cut into 4-inch sections, then slice in half lengthwise and rinse again under running water, separating edges where you can see dirt.

3. Spread cauliflower florets and leek sections out on a large rimmed baking pan (jelly roll pan) and evenly toss with olive oil, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and a few good pinches of kosher salt. Cover pan tightly with foil; roast for 15 minutes, remove foil and roast for another 15 until leeks are melted and cauliflower tender.

4. Transfer roasted vegetables to a large saucepan. Over medium heat, add calvados and cook until almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add half-and-half and simmer for 5 minutes more, stirring. Taste for salt, remembering that vinaigrette will add some salt (I did not add any additional salt).

5. Divide soup in half between a blender and large Pyrex measure, reserving saucepan. Allow to cool slightly before pureeing batch in blender. Transfer pureed soup back to saucepan. Repeat with remaining soup in Pyrex measure before returning to saucepan. OR get an emulsion blender (it’s easier!) and just do it all in your soup pan.

6. Serve immediately, topping each bowl with about a teaspoonful of green apple vinaigrette.


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