Leek & Cauliflower Soup

When Jim and I first started dating, he once told me he didn’t like soup—he just wasn’t a soup-guy. For a split second I thought to myself maybe I need to reconsider getting serious with this mope—in my head sprung images of winters to come, with icy snow tapping on the shivering windowpanes and me, wrapped in layers of scratchy woolen blankets, whimpering in front of a cold piece of fish and salad greens. For a split second I almost turned and ran, leaving forever on a search for an Eskimo boyfriend who would appreciate a good soup. And then I realized how silly I was being. Jim wasn’t not a soup-guy. He was simply wrong. Or a liar. And I would change his mind for sure.

Fortunately for me, it’s almost two years later and I have proven Jim wrong. He’s a soup guy now, man, even requesting soup for dinner quite often. Our winters are warm and cuddly, with fluffy down comforters and rosy candles illuminating the darkness outside.

This leek and cauliflower soup is one of many that has changed Jim’s perspective, as well as mine. It’s really sort of a miracle soup—it tastes so luxurious and creamy, but doesn’t leave you feeling bloated after a bowlful because there is actually no cream in it. Yup, that’s right, no cream. Just cauliflower, leek, onion, broccoli if you want it, and stock. It’s amazingly rich and smooth and the addition of caramelized slices of leek and cauliflower as a garnish adds a delicious brown-butter flavor. I add a few florets of broccoli (about half a crown) for color and a bit more green taste, though it’s definitely not necessary. We’ve also had it poured over a bowl of seared sea scallops, which elevates this simple soup to the heights it deserves.

Since the new year is rolling in, and the holidays have left me with a few new pounds to deal with, I’ll be making this soup a lot. It’s the perfect weight-loss tool, and though I don’t know the actual calorie count of each serving (though I do know it’s only 1 point in weight watchers), it’s got to be low. It’s really quite a little miracle.

Leek & Cauliflower Soup

serves 6


  • 2 medium leeks, sliced into rounds and washed
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • olive oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
  • ½ crown broccoli florets, optional
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 T butter


In a large saucepan, saute onion and leeks with a bit of olive oil, until they soften but do not brown. Add cauliflower, broccoli, and stock and cook, covered, until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Take out 6 rounds of leeks and a few florets of cauliflower, set aside.

Puree the soup in batches in the blender, placing pureed soup in a bowl. When finished pureeing, add soup back to saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over a low heat.

Slice your reserved cauliflower florets thinly, so you get cute little shapes that look like trees. Add butter to a small frying pan. When melted, add cauliflower slices and brown in the butter on both sides, taking care not to burn. Remove from pan to a small plate. Do the same with the leek rounds.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with the cauliflower trees and leek rounds.

35 thoughts on “Leek & Cauliflower Soup”

  1. Oh my god! I just clicked over here for something else, and et voila! This is exactly what is simmering away on the stove right now as I speak! It’s Eric Ripert’s version, but, uhm, well, there’s almost no difference! It smells soooooo goooood! Happy New Year Clumsy!

  2. Ann- Isn’t that a wonderful coincidence?! The soup is fantastic, right?

    Tony- I think shrimp would work perfectly. Just make sure you add the shrimp in at the last minute, so that it doesn’t get overcooked by the soup. You could probably just throw in cocktail shrimp at the end, to make things really simple.

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. I hope everyone will be eating well tomorrow for New Year’s Eve!!

  3. I certainly hope the soup tastes better than it looks. As a PROFESSIONAL CHEF, trained at Peter Kump’s famous International Cooking School, I know that presentation is just as important as taste.

    My boyfriend, “The Manager” would NEVER eat anything that looked like that. When I fixed him fake crabmeat (spelled with a K) for Christmas dinner, he threw it out the window and poked his fist through the wall of my rented trailer house. He was not happy.

    If you want some PROFESSIONAL recipes and ideas, visit my famous website at MySpace (chiffonade)


  4. Ditto, Sally Smith.

    Not only is she a turd, she is a sick individual and a TROLL.

    AND, she claims to be on the staff of SeriousEats.

  5. I have been a madwoman for cauliflower recently. I don’t know what it is. I swear they grow it more delicious out here in Ghana (where I temporarily reside). This soup sounds great. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. The woman who posts as “MrsDocChuck” also is well-known for posting as “chiff0nade”, “realchiffonade”, “therealchiffonade”, JanelleHouse”, “Sonny in Houston”, among dozens of others.

    She is a very sick individual since her fourth divorce, when a man she met on the internet lured her from Brooklyn to Clearwater, Florida, and then dumped her there. Her daughter is a drug addict. “chiff0nade” has attempted to commit suicide twice and was placed on state-mandated psychotropic medications.

    “chiff0nade” posts all over the internet claiming to be a professional chef, a pastry chef, an advisor to SeriousEats, and many other fantasies.

    She has a website on MySpace where she displays her tattoos, her body-piercings, and describes her divorces in detail. Perhaps she is imbalanced, psychologically.

    “chiff0nade” is well known for harassing people, including stars on the Food Network.

    She is best avoided when possible. Under no circumstance should anyone provide her their email address.

    Also, she uses a proxy server to hide her real ISP address in Clearwater, Florida.

  7. DocChuck, I googled your name and you have a serious mental illness that not even this fine soup could cure. You sure do harass a lot of women, don’t you? Afraid of them, maybe?

    Clumsy, if I may call you that, this recipe looks delicious. I love your idea for the garnish.

  8. Sonny from Mountain Home, are you the same person as Sonny from Houston? One might get the idea that you are both “chiff0nade” or “the realchiffonade” from SeriousEats.

    By the way, chiff0nade, I know where Houston is, but tell me, where is Mountain Home???

    I thought you lived in Clearwater, Florida, after beating a hasty retreat from Brooklyn. Did your daughter finally get out of jail, and yoy moved to Mountain Home?

  9. @DocChuck, I am Sonny from Mountain Home and no-one else. One might only get the idea I’m someone else if one is a raving lunatic. I can see how you might get confused.

  10. My husband is much older than me and easily confused, especially when he’s overdone the nasal spray.

    For those of you who don’t know, Mountain Home is the County Seat of Baxter County, Arkansas. We lived there for many years until some unfortunate “incidents” forced us to leave.

  11. Actually, DocChuck is the guy that has been stalking me for years. But who can blame him? After all, I am a PROFESSIONAL CHEF, a 50-year old, 225-pound italian beauty with a mustache, lots of tattoos and 6 body piercings. But my boyfriend BIG BEAR (hes called that because he weighs 437 pounds, has a 52 inch waist, and no neck) is REALLY jealous of DocChuck. As soon as he sobers up he said he is going to “deal” with DocChuck.

    You can always email us at realchiffonade@gmail.com or Big_Bear_Manager@yahoo.com.

  12. Yes, it’s true. My husband, Chuck, is a convicted felon and internet stalker.

    His breath smells of rancid animal droppings, if that excites you.

  13. Just wanted to say thank you for the great recipe – made it last night, and it was a huge hit. 😉 (And you were right about it being the perfect weight-loss tool – I make each serve out to be about 60 calories!)

  14. Judge Van Gearhart, had you not recused yourself that one fateful day, none of us would be reading DocChuck’s latest bizarre, hateful posts. I hope you’ve learned something from this.

  15. I’m sure you’ve figured this out by now but the whole “Doc Chuck” tribe, including supporting players, is the work of one twisted mind.

    He has created several e-mail addresses for me and has made feeble attempts to make enemies in the culinary community using my name. It only takes most people one exchange with me to realize that I am not responsible for the hateful content of his posts.

    BTW, your soup looks TDF and I especially love the garnish!

    Keep cooking real food!

  16. Wow. Some people have too much time on their hands.

    Anyway, that looks delicious and I’m making it tonight, with a little garlic chicken sausage on the side.

  17. I was just in the mood to make cauliflower leek soup and I was glad to come across this recipe… but this paranoid, delusional schizophrenic humour is quite the entertainment I need on this rainy afternoon. Wow, who does this person think he/she is? Thanks again, I can’t wait to try this soup.

  18. Actually, there is only one Chiffonade and that would be me. A) Your soup is beautiful. B) Doc Chuck and all the little imaginary Chucklets in his head are all the work of one lonely person whose only task in life seems to be impersonating me (and probably others). I expect to see him as Cher in Vegas soon.

  19. Funnily enough, I just happened to have some, leek, cauliflower and broccoli in the fridge (so long stir-fry) when I came across your recipe and attempted to make it. The soup is delicious!! Thanks for sharing.

    PS. Normally, I am not overly passionate about stepping into the kitchen but recipes like this could even skew my inclination.

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