I think it is rather obvious from my recipes that I am not a vegetarian or vegan but that does not mean that I do not enjoy those dishes, as a matter of fact, I actually prefer to have at least 4 non-meat dishes each week.
Who does not like a creamy cauliflower soup when the need for comfort arises?! I came across this recipe by Claire Saffitz and the first thing that caught my eye was the crunchy topping of buckwheat, cashews and cauliflower rice, I mean YUMMY! To my surprise I realised that it is 100% vegan and I tend not to knock something until I have tried it. Well honestly, it is one of the best cauliflower soups I have ever tasted and has become a regular in my soup repertoar.
This is a winner and I hope you will enjoy it as much as my family does!
- 1 x large cauliflower or 2 smaller ones (cut into small florets, stems chopped + hold back ¾ cup florets)
- 4 x large shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 x garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 x bay leaves
- 2 tsp x fresh thyme leaves
- ½ cup x olive oil, divided in 2 x ¼ cups
- ½ cup x dry white wine
- ¼ tsp x cayenne pepper
- ¾ cup x cashew nuts + 2 Tbsp extra
- 6 cups x vegetable stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp x buckwheat groats
- 2 tsp x fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp x paprika
- Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat and add shallots, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent, 6–8 minutes.
- Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
- Set ¾ cup cauliflower aside; add the rest to pot along with cayenne and ¾ cup cashews.
- Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until cauliflower is fork-tender and vegetables have released all their water, 20–25 minutes (check occasionally to make sure vegetables are not browning; reduce heat if they are).
- Add stock and season with salt and black pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until cauliflower is falling apart, 20–25 minutes.
- Discard bay leaves. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Whilst the soup is cooking, finely chop the reserved ¾ cup cauliflower into a cauliflower "rice" consistency.
- Also finely chop the remaining 2 tablespoons cashews.
- Heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a small pan over medium heat.
- Add the cauliflower rice, cashews, and buckwheat; season with salt.
- Cook, stirring often, until cauliflower and cashews are golden brown and buckwheat is browned and crisp, 5–8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and paprika. Let cool slightly.
- Working in batches if needed, purée soup in a blender until very smooth.
- Return to pot and reheat over medium-low, stirring and adding more stock to thin if needed (soup should be the consistency of heavy cream).
- Taste and season soup again if needed.
- Serve soup topped with toasted cauliflower-buckwheat mixture.
Note : Soup can be made 2 days ahead (or 1 month if frozen). Let cool; transfer to airtight containers and chill.