Soups

Vegan roasted cauliflower and leek creamy soup - Λευκή σούπα βελουτέ με ψητό κουνουπίδι και πράσο - Vegan in Athens

Creamy roasted cauliflower and leek soup

It’s December, the weather is cold and the best way to warm us up is a delectable, hot soup! As cauliflowers and leeks abound this season, I often combine them in order to prepare a light, creamy and easy vegan cauliflower soup that everyone loves.

Vegan roasted cauliflower and leek creamy soup - Λευκή σούπα βελουτέ με ψητό κουνουπίδι και πράσο - Vegan in Athens

The secret of its amazing flavor lies in the cooking method of the cauliflower which is baked in the oven in order to highlight its sweet flavor and avoid the characteristic odor that is produced when it is boiled. Moreover the leek is lightly sautéed with garlic and onion, adding a distinctive allium flavor to the dish and enchance the sweet taste. For even more flavor I prepare this dish with white wine and vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade, but it is also delicious when prepared with plain water.

This is a recipe we really like as with simple ingredients, minimal effort and minimal calories we can enjoy a nutritious as well as delicious vegan soup.

Vegan roasted cauliflower and leek creamy soup - Λευκή σούπα βελουτέ με ψητό κουνουπίδι και πράσο - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

(6 servings)

  • 1 cauliflower approximately 1200 g cut into florets
  • 1 large leek, only the white part, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tsp slightly sweet or spicy ground paprika
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Vegan roasted cauliflower and leek creamy soup - Λευκή σούπα βελουτέ με ψητό κουνουπίδι και πράσο - Vegan in Athens

serve with: 

  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 slices of toasted bread
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios or almonds roasted and chopped
  • ground sweet paprika (optional for colour)
  • a few drops of olive oil or truffle oil

Vegan roasted cauliflower and leek creamy soup - Λευκή σούπα βελουτέ με ψητό κουνουπίδι και πράσο - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Wash the cauliflower and cut into florets. Mix with paprika, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, spread the cauliflower and cook in preheated oven to 200 oC for 35-40 minutes until the cauliflower becomes golden and soft.

2. Meanwhile, in a pot add the remaining olive oil and saute the chopped onion, the leek and the garlic over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until the onion and leeks become translucent. Add the wine, enjoy the fantastic flavor for a minute and then add the broth and simmer for about 20 minutes.

3. Keep aside some roasted cauliflower for the decor. Add the rest in your blender together with the broth, leek, onion and garlic and blend over medium-high speed for a few minutes until a very smooth cream has been formed. If your blender is not that big, blend half of the ingredients and repeat the process.

4. Return the soup in the pot. Heat and serve drizzled with lemon juice and maybe olive oil or truffle oil, toasted bread and garnish with roasted cauliflower and one teaspoon of roasted nuts. Enjoy!

Vegan roasted cauliflower and leek creamy soup - Λευκή σούπα βελουτέ με ψητό κουνουπίδι και πράσο - Vegan in Athens

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Vegan traditional Greek Easter magiritsa – mushroom, greens and leek soup - Βέγκαν, πικάντικη μαγειρίτσα με μανιτάρια και αρωματικά χορταρικά - Veganinathens.com

Vegan traditional Greek Easter soup with mushrooms, greens and leeks

Well, I have no idea how do Christian people in other countries celebrate Easter, but Greeks definitely pay a lot attention to that. It is considered so important that its celebration is prepared throughout the Holy Week. For example on Holy Wednesday we bake Greek Easter cookies, on Holy Thursday non-vegans dye eggs red, on Holy Saturday the dinner that takes place after midnight is prepared. One essential dish is the traditional Greek Easter soup, which is called “magiritsa”. This soup is supposed to highlight the end of the Lent and it is eaten usually after the Pasqua midnight.

Although the traditional recipe is anything but vegan –I don’t even want to mention what it is made of- Greek vegans and vegetarians, prepare a cruelty-free but super-tasty version of this dish with mushrooms. Today I cooked my vegan version of the traditional magiritsa with a variety of mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, leeks, hot pepper and spices for a more authentic taste.

Traditionally the soup is “thickened” with the well-known “avgolemono” -a sauce made of eggs and lemon juice. Instead of that, I added creaminess and even more taste to my dish with a combination of tahini, corn flour and nutritional yeast.

So, whether religious or not give this filling starter a try! It is so yummy and warming that one may want to enjoy it more often than just Easter.

Vegan traditional Greek Easter magiritsa – mushroom, greens and leek soup - Βέγκαν, πικάντικη μαγειρίτσα με μανιτάρια και αρωματικά χορταρικά - Veganinathens.com

Ingredients

  •  750 g fresh mushrooms (I used oyster as well as white and brown button mushrooms)
  •  2 medium leeks, chopped
  •  5 medium spring onions, chopped
  •  3 tbsp rice
  •  ¼ cup olive oil
  •  200g lettuce leaves coarsely chopped (1 medium lettuce)
  •  200 g chards, coarsely chopped (1 bunch)
  •  1 bell red pepper, chopped
  •  1 cup dill, chopped
  •  ½ cup white wine
  •  3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  •  1 tsp dry, hot chili pepper flakes
  •  1 tsp ground cumin
  •  1 tsp curry powder
  •  salt and freshly ground pepper

For the lemon and tahini sauce (tahinolemono)

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Vegan traditional Greek Easter magiritsa – mushroom, greens and leek soup - Βέγκαν, πικάντικη μαγειρίτσα με μανιτάρια και αρωματικά χορταρικά - Vegan in Athens

Method

  1. Wipe the mushrooms thoroughly with a damp cloth and cut into pieces.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and pour the onions and leeks chopped. Sauté lightly and add the mushrooms. Increase heat, add the wine and let cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add the lettuce, chard and dill and stir until wilted. Add the broth (or water), the salt and the spices and simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat. About ten minutes before removing from heat, add the rice and stir.
  4. Prepare the “tahinolemono”: In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, 2-3 spoons of broth, the nutritional yeast, corn flour and the tahini paste, stir well, pour in the soup and bring to boil. After 1 minute turn off the heat. Serve hot with a sprinkle of lemon juice and maybe an extra touch of hot pepper.

Vegan traditional Greek Easter magiritsa – mushroom, greens and leek soup - Βέγκαν, πικάντικη μαγειρίτσα με μανιτάρια και αρωματικά χορταρικά - Vegan in Athens

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Σούπα βελουτέ με σπαράγγια και αρακά - Fresh asparagus and pea soup - Veganinathens.com

Soup with fresh asparagus and peas

During the spring, I usually find fresh, sweet peas and tender asparagus in the organic farmer’s market that takes place once a week in my neighborhood.

Today, with the weather being anything but summery I decided to combine both of these fresh ingredients in order to create a nourishing soup. Although many consider soup to be a winter’s night dish, I believe that when it’s made with spring vegetables rich in flavors and fragrance, it acquires a completely different character that doesn’t remind much of the winter.

This soup does’ t require a lot of cooking time as soon as the vegetables should not be overcooked, so as to preserve their flavor.

This recipe is suitable for a starter, but it can be eaten also as a main dish for a light and nourishing dinner.

Σούπα βελουτέ με σπαράγγια και αρακά - Fresh asparagus and pea soup - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients
(4 persons)

  • 2 cups hot vegetable broth (if not available use filtered water)
  • 2 cups fresh peas peeled (or the same amount of frozen peas)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh asparagus, peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 spring onions, chopped
  • 4-5 sprigs of dill, chopped
  • 4-5 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp dry ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

to serve

  • ½ – 1 cup fresh asparagus (the tender, green parts)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • splash of coconut milk (optional)

Method

  1. In a saucepan add the olive oil and sauté the onions for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add the peas continuing the sautéing for 2 more minutes and then slowly add the vegetable broth.
  3. When the soup comes to boil, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the asparagus, dill, parsley and spices and cook 5 minutes more.
  5. Turn off the heat and transfer the soup into the blender.
  6. Add the lemon juice and blend at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy.

To serve

In a nonstick frying pan, add the olive oil and fry the asparagus over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Serve the soup hot and garnish with a splash of coconut milk and the 2-3 sautéed asparagus.

Σούπα βελουτέ με σπαράγγια και αρακά - Fresh asparagus and pea soup - Vegan in Athens

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