Happy almost St. Pat’s Day! I’m celebrating with this Irish-inspired cauliflower and leek soup with cheddar rosemary Irish soda bread.
Normally I wouldn’t be embracing the Irish culture as such. However, I think it is totally appropriate since I’m currently planning a trip to Ireland! I am beyond excited as this is the very first time I’m going outside the US.
One of my top intentions for 2018 was to put the passport I had made in 2017 to good use. Somewhere along the line I decided Ireland was a good starter trip for a travel virgin. And I cannot wait. If anyone has travel tips feel free to comment!
What’s So Great About Cauliflower and Leek Soup with Cheddar Rosemary Irish Soda Bread?
So this recipe I wanted to put my little spin on. Traditional Irish potato and leek soup is full of potatoes, (duh) but also butter and cream. I’m not about that life so I skipped the potatoes and did cauliflower instead. Because we all know cauliflower is a great substitute in mashed potatoes I thought I’d give it a go here. The cauliflower is roasted while you assemble the broth. This gives it a nice roasty toasty flavor and softens it up for blending later. Though you may also steam the cauliflower but that will surely yield a less tasty soup in my humble opinion.
What acts as the cream here is white beans. I know I know, but stick with me. Once you blend everything up the beans become creamy and the soup is velvety smooth and just wonderful. The last experimental ingredient on my part is miso paste. Rather than adding vegetable stock I opted for some miso dissolved into water as my liquid. The umami-ness laces through the soup and complements the cauliflower wonderfully. 10 out of 10 recommend adding miso to your daily life.
The bread is another amazing thing. I took an Irish soda bread recipe and added my little touches. Those touches came in the form of whole wheat pastry flour, vegan cheddar shreds, and freshly chopped rosemary. Just the plain smell of this baking up in your oven will convince of its tastiness.
And the two just go together so seamlessly. You bake both the cauliflower and bread at 400 F. So, you can multi task because if you make the bread you’ve got to make the soup and vice versa.
Cauliflower and Leek Soup
makes: about 8 servings
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets, maybe 2 c
- 4 T oil
- 3 leeks, chop up the white parts
- 2 celery stalks
- 1/2 yellow onion, or the whole thing*
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 T white miso paste dissolved into 6 c of warm water
- 2 cans of white navy beans or 3 c cooked
- 2 1/2 t dry rosemary
- 2 t thyme
- 1 t sage
- 1/4-1/2 t cayenne
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t black pepper
- a couple dry bay leaves
- Begin by chopping up your cauliflower and roast in 2 T of olive oil in a 400 F preheated oven. Roast about 35 minutes making sure to flip partway through.
- While the cauliflower roasts begin the ret of the soup by dissolving the miso into the water. Then in a stock pot start sautéing on medium the chopped onion, leeks, and celery. After the onions and leeks go a little translucent, (maybe 5 mins) add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more or until your kitchen smells garlicky.
- Add the broth, the drained and rinsed beans, and all the spices and herbs. Bring the pot to a boil and let simmer about 20 mins.
- At this point the cauliflower should be done roasting in the oven. So carefully transfer the hot cauliflower to the soup. Be careful since both components are hot at this point.
- Fish out the bay leaves and blend the soup in either an immersion blender or high speed blender in batches. Serve warm with bread recipe below.
*make the soup more oniony if you’d like
*the herbs can be fresh, I had rosemary on hand and used that instead of the dried spice
Vegan Cheddar Rosemary Irish Soda Bread
makes: one large loaf or 3 mini bundles of bread
- 4 c whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 t baking soda
- 1 t salt and more for the top
- 2 T fresh chopped rosemary
- 1-1 1/2 c vegan cheddar shreds, optional but amazing!
- 2 T cold vegan butter, cubed
- 2 c almond milk
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 400 F which should already be done if you made the soup. Prepare a baking sheet or cast iron skillet. Use oil to grease.
- First combine the apple cider vinegar with the nut milk and let sit for a bit until slightly curdled.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, rosemary, and cheddar shreds (I used Daiya).
- Cut in the cold butter cubes with your fingers until the flour is mealy. Pour in the “butter”milk and fold in with a spatula or your hands. The dough will be very sticky and wet.
- Form into balls and crease with an X about an inch deep. Sprinkle the tops generously with salt. If you make the smaller balls like I did, bake them about 30-35 minutes. Give or take 10 minutes. You want the bread to sound hollow when tapped on the underside. For a large loaf, bake about 50-55 minutes.