Cauliflower Soup with Pecans and Rye Croutons
- ACTIVE: 35 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 20 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
The Good News Mary Ellen Diaz usually ignored cauliflower when she worked as a high-end restaurant chef, but now she loves how it adds a natural, clean flavor to this luscious soup as well as lots of vitamins: Three florets provide close to half the daily requirement of vitamin C.
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- 3 tablespoons light olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- Two 2-pound heads of cauliflower, cored and cut into 2-inch florets, 1/2 cup of tiny florets reserved for garnish
- 1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 1 slice crustless rye bread, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large, heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the large cauliflower florets and the apple and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the broth and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
- Spread the diced rye bread, pecan pieces and tiny cauliflower florets on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper and bake, stirring once, for about 10 minutes, or until the rye bread croutons are crisp.
- Discard the thyme sprigs from the soup. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, scatter the croutons, pecans and cauliflower on top and serve.