Is there anything more gratifying in winter than a bowl of warm porridge – not served too hot, too cold, but just right?
If you are new to the cream soup experience, prepare yourself. This is no ordinary soup. This potage has all the salty, savory goodness happening with some little textural surprises that will delight your senses.
And in case you’re wondering how to achieve the creaminess…you don’t need any cream to make this soup – just a blender.
So, what makes this beyond a regular ol’ soup? It’s all about the marriage of simple quality ingredients – cauliflower, leeks, pine nuts, olive oil – with heat. Not just any pine nuts, mind you, toasted pine nuts!
Warming pine nuts in olive oil creates a nutty, savory undertone for the soup and adds a lot of richness and a bit of crunch. It may sound weird to work in a pine nut infused oil, but trust me, it’s so necessary.
Plus, cauliflower and leeks are in season, so potage is a great way to use them up. I love making a big batch because it stores and reheats perfectly!
What is potage?
Potage is any thick soup made with vegetables or meat boiled with broth into a thick and creamy puree or mush. Potage may contain cream or brown butter, but this version is dairy free, making it ideal for paleo, gluten free, and vegan diets.
How to Make Cauliflower Leek Potage – Step by Step
You can work 2 pots to save time – 1 for boiling the cauliflower and 1 for sweating the leeks. Remove the tender cauliflower with a slotted spoon and add it into the pot with the tender leeks (photos 1 & 2).
Simmer with stock – I used homemade turkey stock but you can use vegetable stock too. Use a ladle to spoon some of the vegetables and broth into a blender. Puree the soup in 3-4 separate batches to avoid any soup from bursting through the lid (photos 3 & 4).
To finish the soup, warm the pine nuts in the olive oil until golden brown (photos 5 & 6). You will use the oil to swirl into the soup and the pine nuts as a garnish.
For a really fun little pop of sour, supreme a lime and cut the segments into little triangles (photos 7 & 8).
Put on a sweater and cozy up with your bowl of potage.
I love to eat this potage for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with all the fix-ins (lime, parsley, toasted pine nuts – even cayenne). I made this ahead for Thanksgiving and served it warm in the crock pot with the garnishes on the side as an appetizer (yes, everyone ADORED it).
Best Cream Soup Tips
- Sweat your ingredients until very tender but avoid caramelizing (do not brown).
- Blend in small batches at a time and combine in one large pot to warm at the end.
- Taste for both flavor and texture. Add extra broth to thin and continue to heat to thicken.
- Olive oil and pine nuts add richness, but you could also use butter with slivered almonds.
- Taste the soup with and without the lime to see which way you prefer. You can add a squeeze of lime to the whole batch or add little slices of lime segments (membrane removed) for the sporadic pop of acid.
More Winter Recipes You Might Like
- Chicken Barley Soup (an easy 1-pot meal)
- Borscht with Beets and Lamb (the best borscht I’ve ever had)
- Farmer’s Carrot Cake
- Colorful Winter Fruit Salad
Cauliflower Leek Potage with Toasted Pine Nuts
- sea salt
- 1 lemon
- 3 pounds cauliflower (1-2 heads) separated into florets
- 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 3 large leeks tough green parts discarded, thinly sliced and thoroughly rinsed
- 2 quarts vegetable stock (or chicken stock) preferably homemade
Pine Nut Oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- freshly ground black pepper
- parsley finely chopped for garnish
- 2 limes supreme and cut into small triangles
Make the Soup Base
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the juice of 1 lemon. Add cauliflower florets and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Drain the cauliflower.
- While the cauliflower cooks, heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and stir to coat, season with salt and cook until very tender, 15 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent browning. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a simmer. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the leeks and cauliflower to a blender with some of the stock (note: work in batches to prevent over-filling the blender). Puree until smooth.
Toast the Pine Nuts – Infuse the Oil
- In a small pan, warm the olive oil with the pine nuts over low to medium heat. Stir and cook just until the nuts begin to turn golden. Drain the oil immediately into a small bowl, reserving the pine nuts for garnish.
Finish the Potage
- Season the potage with salt and pepper to taste and whisk in the pine nut oil. Serve the soup garnished with a few bits of lime, pine nuts, and a sprinkle of parsley. Cayenne is also a lovely flourish if you like a little heat.
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