Updated on January 28, 2013
The guest blogger that I’m featuring today is the wonderful Kristy from Keepin’ It Kind! You may remember that I did a delicious cookie recipe for her blog, in December; well, now it’s time for her to return the favor! 😉 Kristy has some incredibly creative recipes, paired with her husband’s photography they make a vegan food porn dream team! So, welcome her to the site!
I am so excited that Jackie asked me to be here today! It is such an honor being able to do a guest post for one of your favorite blogs and I am so grateful for this opportunity!
When I was younger, my family was all about those “Cream of _______” soups. You know the kind- they come in the red and white can and they’re super thick and overly salty because they’re “condensed.” I was taught very early on that these were very unhealthy and not really to be eaten unless they were mixed into some sort of casserole, usually topped with a crumbled chip or cereal of some sort (because unhealthy casseroles were okay???).
As I got older, and more conscious of my food choices, whenever I would see a “Cream of Something” soup on a restaurant menu, I would look the other way because anything starting with “Cream of” meant my jeans would be tight for days on end. “Cream of ________” soups became the enemy.
Now I know that there are ways to get a super creamy soup without little to no milk or cream! You can enjoy the richness of a creamy soup without all the calories and fat, not to mention all of the unnecessary animal products!
Take this soup, for example. This Cream of Asparagus soup is completely vegan and only has 2 tablespoons of soy creamer (which is an optional ingredient- I usually make this soup without it)! This soup gets it’s decadent creamy texture from none other than cauliflower. The cauliflower, when added to the soup base along with the broth, becomes super soft while cooking, and when you puree the soup, you get a silky, creamy finish. To add some additional flavor and texture, I served the soup topped with toasted hazelnuts and crispy shallots (which are roasted, not fried).
This soup makes for a very healthy, delicious, and impressive meal, which will not affect how your jeans fit at all.
Cream of Asparagus Soup
This soup gets it’s decadent creamy texture from none other than cauliflower. To add some additional flavor and texture, I served the soup topped with toasted hazelnuts and crispy shallots.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 bunches of asparagus ( or about 2 12 oz. bags of frozen asparagus, thawed), chopped into thirds (reserve a few of the heads for garnish, if desired)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
6 cups vegetable broth (low sodium, if possible)
2 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons soy creamer (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
5– 6 shallot bulbs, very thinly sliced
olive oil spray
1/4– 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat for one minute. Add the fennel seeds and fry them, stirring occasionally, until darker in color, about three minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about one minute before adding the leeks. Sauté the leeks for about 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the asparagus, parsley, and rosemary. Mix to combine. If it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a couple tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, vegetable broth, and water. Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Once it is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and leave the lid partially cracked to let steam escape. Let the soup simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until cauliflower is very tender.
- While the soup is simmering, if you reserved any asparagus heads to garnish the soup with, put them in a microwave safe container with a 1/2 teaspoon of water, cover and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Remove from the microwave, uncover, and set aside.
- Once the soup is done cooking, remove the soup from heat. Add the lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until completely smooth. Alternatively, you can blend the soup in batches in a standing blender, being mindful of trapping too much heat in the blender (causing an explosion of sorts).
- Once the soup is smooth, add the soy creamer (if using) and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with toasted hazelnuts, asparagus heads, and crispy shallots. Serve warm.
- For the crispy roasted shallots- Preheat the oven to 400. Line a small baking dish (about 8×8) with parchment paper. Place the shallots int he baking dish. Lightly spray with olive oil, then top with salt and pepper. Roast the shallots for 18-20 minutes, stirring about 3 times to prevent overcooking.
- For the toasted hazelnuts- Place the hazelnuts in a small pan and heat at medium-low heat. Toast the nuts, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Photography by Chris Miller
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