I love when it is going to be a delicious week.
I am too lazy/tired to cook during the week, so I make everything on the weekend. A new batch of oatmeal. I create 3-4 different dishes, with possibly some fresh rice mid-week. Rob helps with the rice. His rice always seems to taste better even if we use the same rice cooker.
Anyways. I digress.
I love delicious surprises in the kitchen.
I was wooed by Tess’ creamy cauliflower soup in her latest cookbook. However, I knew cauliflower and leeks, alone, would not be a filling meal. Beans. I need some beans. Where are the beans? I could have easily blended white beans into the soup, but I don’t like pureed soups.
Keeping things a bit more texturally complex, I ran with bacon-flavoured roasted chickpea croutons! Because I was going to use the oven to roast my chickpeas, I roasted my vegetables, too. It helped to free up a coveted soup pot and oven burner, too.
I guess I get surprised by some of my successes. Light and fluffy yet still filling, the soup was as easy as blending together roasted vegetables with some spices. The bacon chickpeas added a salty-savoury topping that contrasted the soup wonderfully.
And somewhat off-topic. Not soup-related, but related by all things delicious. You know what else we recently discovered that was glorious? Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream. GAH! Annie clued me in early on that their coconut-based ice creams were delicious and they helped tame the Texan heat in the summer. Now that we’re cycling in the heat, this has become our new way to cool off.
What have you been enjoying lately?
Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup with Vegan Bacon Chickpea Croutons
Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup
1 large cauliflower, chopped into florets (8 cups chopped)
3 leeks, trimmed, sliced lengthwise, washed and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only) – around 5-6 cups
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp oil of choice (I used an unflavoured coconut oil)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp raw almond butter
1 tsp white miso
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp chopped green onions
1 cup non dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
1.5 cups hot water (or enough water to thin to your desired consistency)
1 recipe Vegan Bacon-Flavoured Chickpea Croutons (see below)
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Start roasting your cauliflower and garlic. Chop your cauliflower, place in a big bowl along with the garlic. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on a silpat-lined baking tray in a single layer and bake for 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make your bacon chickpeas (see below) and throw them in the oven, too.
4. Prepare your leeks and place in the same bowl you used for the cauliflower. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on a silpat-lined baking tray in a single layer and bake for 20-30 minutes.
5. When each component is done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
6. Place roasted cauliflower, roasted leeks, almond butter, miso, smoked paprika, green onions, non-dairy milk and water in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. An immersion blender should be able to handle this as well, but you may need more liquid. If you used hot/boiling water, your soup should be warm enough to eat right away.
7. Place a portion of the bacon-flavoured chickpea croutons on top of your soup just prior to serving.
Vegan Bacon-Flavoured Chickpea Croutons
Inspired by Have Cake Will Travel
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and well drained and thoroughly dried (use a towel if possible)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp maple syrup
1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp granulated onion
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Thoroughly dry your washed chickpeas. Use a towel if possible.
3. In a small container, combine the melted coconut oil, liquid smoke, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, granulated onion and salt. Stir to combine.
4. Place dry chickpeas on a silpat-lined baking tray and drizzle overtop with the marinade. Stir to evenly coat and spread in a single layer.
5. Cook for 18 minutes, stir and cook another 18 minutes. Remove and cool.
Makes 1 cup.