soup

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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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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Warming mung bean, fennel bulb and sweet potato soup - Σούπα με φινόκιο, κόκκινη γλυκοπατάτα και ροβίτσα - Vegan in Athens

Warming mung bean, fennel bulb and sweet potato soup

Mung beans, do not belong to the beans that are traditionally used in the Greek cuisine. Actually the first time I even saw them was several years ago at a local farmer’s market and I was somehow seduced by their shiny green color, their small size -compared to the traditional beans- and even that light speckle in the middle of each bean. As I’ve always liked to try new tastes, I bought a small quantity and I experimented with this “rare” but tempting legume. Since then, mung beans have gained some popularity also in Greece and it’s much easier to find them not only in organic grocery stores but also in the super markets and some local farmer’s markets, as they can comprise a basic ingredient for a hearty and nutritious dish, such as this warming, mildly sweet and spicy soup.

Warming mung bean, fennel bulb and sweet potato soup - Σούπα με φινόκιο, κόκκινη γλυκοπατάτα και ροβίτσα - Veganinathens.com

Ingredients
(4-5 portions)

  • 250g green mung beans
  • 750-1000 ml water or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium red sweet potato or 1 ½ cups red sweet pumpkin cut into cubes
  • 1 medium fennel bulb (fennel) chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • fresh lemon juice to serve
Ο κύριος Φινόκιο με μερικούς φίλους του!
Ο κύριος Φινόκιο με μερικούς φίλους του!

Method

1. Soak the mung beans for 7-8 hours or overnight in plenty of water and drain.
2. Peel the sweet potato or pumpkin and cut into small (1 cm) cubes. Wash the fennel (the bulb, the stalks and the tiny leaves), cut the tip with a sharp knife, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into thick slices.
3. In a large saucepan put the olive oil, the sweet potato or pumpkin and the fennel. Saute lightly for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, add the mung beans and the spices and last add the water or broth. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender (if you choose not to soak the mung beans, cook for ten more minutes). Serve hot, drizzled with lemon juice.
Note: Instead of the fennel bublb you can add one more cup chopped pumpkin or sweet potato, or even celery root. To enhance flavor, you can add a pinch of dried sage, fresh thyme and cumin.

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