Gluten-Free, Vegan Vegetable Soup

I spent the better part of this week getting over a nasty bout of what I think was food poisoning and didn’t find much that tempted me to eat until last night. Soup really sustained me once the worst was over, starting with straight broth the second day and progressing to this nutrient-packed, luscious vegan concoction that I credit with finally getting me over the hump. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for cauliflower soup from a back issue of Martha Stewart Living, and thought I could bump it up with more greens and toss in an avocado for good fats and extra creaminess.

It did not disappoint. I must’ve eaten about 3/4 of it over the past few days.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Vegetable Soup

If you’ve spent any time here at all, you know I love my grass-fed/pastured meat. But I’ve found that, since shooting another vegan cookbook in January, I’m gravitating (on occasion) to vegan foods, sans meat- and dairy-replacers. Eating your vegetables has never been so delicious or fulfilling.

recipe after the jump

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Greens & Avocado adapted from Martha Stewart Living

I had a lot of greens in my refrigerator for another dish I’d planned to make, so I used some of each to lend complexity to the soup. Just take it easy on the more bitter greens  — radish, carrot or dandelion — if you decide to use them. The avocado added silkiness, making it lush and satisfying. I’d love to try this with some pesto swirled in next time.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt
1 medium head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), florets and stems cut into 1-inch pieces
4 1/2 – 5 1/2 cups water
1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped, plus more for garnish
A few handfuls of assorted greens — any combination of collards, mustard greens, spinach, kale, carrot tops, radish tops, dandelion greens, beet greens, swiss chard & reserved cauliflower leaves minus the tough stems
1 avocado, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Maldon Sea Salt
Chopped parsley

In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil until shimmering. Cook onion until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and a big pinch of salt, and cook for 3 minutes more. Add cauliflower, then pour in water until it reaches just below the top of the cauliflower.

Bring to a boil over high heat and add thyme. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in greens and avocado, and simmer for 3 minutes.

Turn off heat and cool slightly for 5 minutes. Puree soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, adding more water (about 1/2 cup) if it’s too thick. Return to pot and reheat. Adjust seasonings. Garnish with thyme and parsley, black pepper, a drizzle of oil, and a pinch of Maldon sea salt.

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