Cauliflower and Leek Soup with Nut Brown Butter and Toasted Hazelnuts

This inspired winter soup comes straight from celebrity chef Peter Berley.

Photo: Istock

Recipe courtesy of Chef Peter Berley, author of The Flexitarian Table: Inspired, Flexible Meals for Vegetarians, Meat Lovers, and Everyone in Between

Enjoy a soup recipe that uses cool weather vegetables and toasted hazelnuts.

8-10 servings

Sea salt
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1-2 head of cauliflower (3 pounds in total), separated into florets
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium or 3 large leeks — tough green parts discarded, the remainder thinly sliced and thoroughly rinsed
1-2 quarts vegetable stock, preferably homemade
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup peeled hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
Finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the lemon juice. Add the cauliflower and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks and stir to coat, season with salt and cook until very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent browning. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a simmer. With a slotted spoon transfer the leeks and cauliflower to a blender or food processor and puree with some of the stock until smooth. Return the puree to the pot.

3. In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the hazelnuts, lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat when the butter stops foaming and the crackling sound stops, about 5 minutes. Drain the butter immediately into a small bowl, reserving the hazelnuts on a plate.

4. Bring the soup to a simmer, season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Whisk in the brown butter (or leave out for Vegans). Serve the soup garnished with the hazelnuts and parsley.


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