Roast cauliflower leek soup with the really good bacon

Roast cauliflower and leek soup made with the "good bacon".

Roast cauliflower and leek soup made with the "good bacon".

Week Two: January 13-17

The second of three recipes for Caitlin's week of hearty soup packed lunches.  When Caitlin had her son, I made a bunch of portioned freezer meals for her to eat as needed, and her favourite was a potato leek and bacon soup.  This has the same stomach warming, filling quality without the starch of the potatoes.  Roasting the veggies gives this soup a rich, nutty flavour that made me want to add nutmeg - and so I did.

Roast cauliflower and leek soup with the really good bacon

  • bunch of leeks, about 3 large or six small, roots removed and sliced lengthwise
  • head of cauliflower, leaves removed and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp or more of sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • three big handfuls of parsley
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups water - after listening to a podcast of America's Test Kitchen where they made cauliflower soup and made a case for how the broth messed with the nutty flavour of the roast cauliflower, I was convinced to use water when taking the time to roast veggies for soup
  • 1 pound package of the most beautiful, expensive, thick sliced bacon you can find; mine was from Thatcher Farms
  • 4 x 1L wide-mouthed mason jars

Directions:

  1. Wash leeks well and place cut side down on one baking sheet; place cauliflower cut side down on another baking sheet.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Brush leeks and cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; place baking sheets in the oven and remove veggies when they are fork-tender, approximately 20 minutes for the leeks and 40 minutes for the cauliflower.
  4. Put veggies, water, parsley, salt and pepper, and nutmeg in soup pot or roasting pan and puree with immersion/stick blender.
  5. Turn oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Place bacon on a baking sheet so that it doesn't overlap and bake until very crispy, approximately 20-30 minutes.
  7. Crumble bacon and stir crumbled bacon and all bacon grease into soup.
  8. Divide into four mason jars if taking for packed lunches.
  9. This makes four nice, big servings - if you are divvying it up in jars, each will be a bit over half full.

You could also opt to steam the veggies on the stovetop or cook them in a crockpot, but it will miss a lot of good flavour and I promise that roasting them doesn't take more effort.

Cauliflower leek soup with bacon packed in mason jars in my work fridge.

Cauliflower leek soup with bacon packed in mason jars in my work fridge.