I am in heaven.
It has been one week since I have tasted cooked food. (yes, I said one week). I just finished my favorite cleanse and am celebrating the breaking of the fast with a bowl of creamy, roasted cauliflower soup with a swirl of kale pesto.
Over the past few days I have been thinking about food non-stop (not that this is anything but ordinary). I have even been dreaming about it. On the second night of the fast, I woke up in the middle of the night, worried sick that I had actually eaten one of the meals I had been dreaming about. No, only a dream. Phew.
I was more than excited to venture to the Santa Barbara Farmers Market today, knowing that I could buy ingredients for all of the recipes that had been stacking up in my head over the past week. Per usual, I grabbed what looked best and decided to improvise. An assortment of kale from both Tom Shepherd's and Jimenez Family Farms, the first Seascape strawberries of the season from Fairview Gardens, beautiful round fennel bulbs from Garden Of, Persian cucumbers from Beylik Farms, itty bitty baby broccoli from McGrath Family Farms, spring mix from B.D. Farms, and Meyer lemons and blood oranges from Friend's Ranches.
Upon returning home, I evaluated my treasures to determine what would make up my first meal.
In the fridge, I already had 2 heads of heirloom cauliflower (1 green, 1 yellow) from Mama's Preserves' that I had purchased last week and a few leeks that my Mom had picked up for me at Tuesday's Market.
Cauliflower soup had been on the brain for a few weeks now. In college, my roommates and I would make this hearty, nutrient-dense soup that cost little but went a long way. We would eat soup for days. Somehow, I didn't mind the repetition. Now, not so much.
This recipe is vamped up a bit from my college days, but is still simple and affordable. The kale pesto is optional, but adds a tasty twist (literally) that you won't want to miss. Enjoy this dish as a prelude to your main course or as an entree with a side green salad and/or toasted crusty bread.
roasted cauliflower soup w/ kale pesto
2 large heads cauliflower
10-12 small Yukon potatoes, halved or 2 large celery root, peeled and cubed
4 cloves garlic, peels on
2-3 leeks, white parts chopped
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1/4 cup whole coconut milk or whole raw milk (optional)
butter, ghee, or other heat stable fat
6 tbsp kale walnut pesto (optional)
Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets. Toss in a bowl with 1 tbsp of fat and spread evenly in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Toss sliced potatoes and whole garlic cloves in 1 tbsp fat and spread in a separate baking dish. Sprinkle both lightly with sea salt.
Roast the cauliflower and potatoes for 25-30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Cauliflower may be done a few minutes before the potatoes.
While vegetables are roasting, prepare leeks. In a heavy pot, heat 1 tbsp fat. Add leeks and saute for 10-15 minutes or until caramelized. Remove from heat.
Make kale pesto.
When vegetables are done roasting, transfer cauliflower, potatoes, peeled garlic cloves, and leeks into a food processor. Add half the stock and milk. Blend until smooth, adding the rest of the stock slowly, while blending. Season with sea salt if necessary.
Transfer soup back to heavy pot and heat until hot.
Ladle soup into shallow bowls and swirl 1 tbsp kale pesto into each bowl.