If you take a look at the date on your calendar, you can see that we have clearly passed the vernal equinox and it is now officially spring. Perhaps that is true for you if you live in Texas, or California, or any other place where the seasons changing is like turning the page of a book—fast, and without much notice. But here in the Northeast, we are in the teasing, painful time of year when the calendar says spring but our hats, coats, and gloves say winter.
To add insult to injury, food magazines are full to the brim with the recipes of spring, but it is still cold outside. It is, I'm afraid, soup weather. Thankfully this one comes with an overdose of lemon zest and lemon juice, so even if we must still eat soup to stay warm, at least it can taste like spring.
Cauliflower Leek Soup with Lemon
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 leeks, washed well and sliced into coins
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- dried chili powder and thyme
- 1 quart low sodium chicken stock
- 1 large lemon
Add 2 tbps of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they're beginning to get translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one to two minutes more. Then add the leeks and cook until they begin to wilt. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of dried thyme and a pinch of chili powder.
Add the chopped cauliflower and cover the mixture with chicken stock. Simmer until the cauliflower is soft, about 20 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand blender, or in batches in a food processor.
Return the pureed soup to the heat and add the zest of one lemon, tasting as you go. I ended up using all of the lemon zest, but you might prefer less. Add extra lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toasted almonds, if desired.