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
- Wash leeks well and place cut side down on one baking sheet; place cauliflower cut side down on another baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 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.
- Put veggies, water, parsley, salt and pepper, and nutmeg in soup pot or roasting pan and puree with immersion/stick blender.
- Turn oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place bacon on a baking sheet so that it doesn't overlap and bake until very crispy, approximately 20-30 minutes.
- Crumble bacon and stir crumbled bacon and all bacon grease into soup.
- Divide into four mason jars if taking for packed lunches.
- 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.