Plant-based Leek & Cauliflower soup with Broccoli Pesto (vegan + grain, gluten & sugar-free) – so nourishing & tasty
I love a smooth creamy soup. I also love green vegetables. However, being in the dead of Winter, I am sick of creamy soups, I’ve been having them every day for lunch ! I am also trying to teach my little toddler about vegetables, so having a soup where you can see them all is very convenient. Welcome Plant-based Leek & Cauliflower soup !
So here is my take on the traditional (& creamy) leek and cauliflower soup. I use broccoli in the pesto. Before you screw your nose up, with all the basil you cannot taste it. It gives a great bitey taste to it and along with the peanut oil, a good taste substitute for Parmesan cheese & pine nuts.
A very quick and easy soup. Awesome for freezing. Looks a bit “green” but it is totally delish. Hope you enjoy it too.
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced (white parts only)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 medium thick broccoli stalks, florets removed (for the pesto), reserving the thick stems
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I use Massel vegan chicken stock)
- 2 cups cauliflower florets removed, reserving the thick stems
- 1 cup of baby green beans, trimmed & cut into 2cm lengths
- 1 medium zucchini, trimmed
- 1 cup snow peas, trimmed & sliced
- 1 cup baby Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved (or regular ones quartered)
- Lemon juice, to serve
- Crack black pepper, to serve
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup broccoli florets (as reserved above from the soup)
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 3 tbs peanut oil (or olive oil)
- Trim and peel the broccoli stem, cauliflower stem and zucchini and then cut into 1 cm cubes See pic.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced leek & garlic, cook for 5 mins or until softened.
- Add the cauliflower florets & cauliflower cubes, zucchini, Brussels sprouts and stock, then bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 mins. Add the remaining ingredients, then season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in half of the pesto, then serve in bowls with the remaining pesto on the side along with lemon juice and black pepper to add as you please.
- Place the broccoli florets in the microwave for 2 1/2 mins (you can also steam on stove top). Drain immediately under cold water to retain the green colour.
- Place the garlic, basil leaves, cooled broccoli florets & lemon juice in a food processor and blitz to make a chunky paste.
- Add the olive oil, blitz again until creamy and then season with cracked black pepper.
- This will keep in the fridge for up to a week, it will lose some of the green colour but taste the same.
- If you don't like any of the vegetables in the soup you can substitute with others. Freezes very well for a quick mid week meal including the pesto. Pesto can be used on other things too, roasted vegetables, other soups, stir fry or zucchini noodles
- This makes 15 cups of soup.
- To "blitz" I use a Braun stick blender using the mini 4 cup blender attachment. You could also use a large food processor or a stick blender in a tall narrow container. A blender would liquidise it too much.