Hi friends, I am having a moment with soup! First I shared my Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, then my Dairy Free Zuppa Toscana Soup. Last Wednesday I shared a bonus post of 16 Gluten Free Soups for When You’re Sick – a round up of simple, nourishing, comforting soups from food bloggers to help you feel better when you’re under the weather. AND NOW my Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Arugula Pesto!!!!
To be honest, I LOVE all of these soup recipes but it’s a little hard to think about hot bowls of soups because yesterday (from when I am writing this post) it was 75 degrees here in Iowa!!! IN FEBRUARY!!! We had all the windows open, dusted off the grill and grilled up some burgers, and even had a bonfire that night!! I loved every single spring-like-feeling of that day, but it was just a tease because today is back to 40 degrees – which honestly I can’t complain because 40 degrees in February in Iowa is still pretty amazing. February in Iowa is usually negative 10!! Let’s be real though, as wonderful as this weather has been Mother Nature is playing a cruel joke on us – in March and April we will probably have all of the snow and all of the below freezing days that we’ve been missing all winter. PAUL, I’m ready to move to Florida any day now! Just kidding, mom – not really. So, when true winter weather finally decides to make an appearance and you need all of the warming comforting foods this Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Arugula Pesto will be there for you!
The idea for Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Arugula Pesto came to me when I was roasting up some cauliflower florets until they were nice and caramelized and crispy THE BEST! And I thought to myself, “roasted cauliflower pureed in a soup would be AMAZING!” Spoiler alert, it was! We roast up an entire head of cauliflower, an onion, and TWO heads of garlic until everything is soft, tender, and nicely charred – charred = flavor! Then we simmer all of those lovely vegetables in some vegetable stock for a few minutes, and then puree until it’s oh so smooth, creamy, and thick! While all of the veggies are roasting in the oven we make some gluten free stove top croutons because every creamy soup needs a little crunch. THEN we make some arugula pesto!!! Just a few handfuls of arugula + herbs, if you have them + garlic + almonds (or any kind of nuts you prefer) + lemon juice + salt and pep and a whiz of the food processor and a drizzle of olive oil and you’ve got some tasty homemade pesto!
The Roasted Cauliflower Soup is rich and creamy and super comforting BUT that arugula pesto is everything! It really makes the soup. It adds a bit of texture from the nuts, a zing from the lemon juice – a burst of flavor, a spot of green that is very much needed with this soup! Just don’t skip the pesto, okay?! The croutons, I’ll allow it, you can skip them if you want to keep things low carb – but the pesto brings the sunshine to this party! YES, it’s a soup party!
Once everything is all made you grab your steaming bowl of Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Arugula Pesto and a coziest sweatshirt and enjoy each spoonful of the delightful soul warming soup. Life is complete forever and ever, THE END!
Want some more creamy cauliflower soup goodness?! Try my Healthier Loaded Baked Potato Soup – the base that makes everything creamy is, you guessed it, pureed cauliflower. Dear Cauliflower, you have many talents! 🙂
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 large onion, cut into wedges and layers separated
- 2 heads garlic, cloves separated and skins removed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- (optional) 2 tablespoons butter (use vegan to keep dairy free/vegan)
- STOVE TOP CROUTONS
- 3 cups stale gluten free bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter (use vegan butter to keep vegan/dairy free)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ARUGULA PESTO
- ¼ cup raw almonds (can sub other kinds of nuts or seeds)
- 1 cup arugula
- ½ cup parsley
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil (maybe more as needed)
- salt and pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (or sub nutritional yeast to keep vegan/dairy free or omit)
- ROAST THE VEGGIES: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cauliflower florets onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Place the onion onto a medium sized rimmed baking sheet along with the garlic - place the garlic on a large piece of foil. Drizzle 1½ tablespoons of the vegetable oil on the cauliflower and the remainder divided between the onion and garlic. Sprinkle all the veggies with a little salt and pepper. Toss to combine and coat the veggies in the oil. Fold the foil so that the garlic is laying in a flat layer. Place the cauliflower on the rack closest to the heat source and the onions and garlic further away from the heat source. Roast for 20 minutes per side. The cauliflower should have some nice char on it, the onions should be tender and the garlic should also be tender.
- MAKE THE STOVE TOP CROUTONS: While the veggies are roasting make the croutons: If your bread isn't stale, cut it into cubes and allow it to sit on the counter, uncovered for several hours, until hard. This step is optional, but I did find it helped the croutons to remain crispy for several days longer.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. NOTE: Depending on the size of your skillet you might need to work in batches with the croutons. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan; otherwise the croutons won't crisp up. If you need to work in batches make sure to divide the butter, oil, and spices in half. Allow the butter to melt, add the oil and spices and stir to combine. Add the bread and toss to coat in the butter and oil.
- Allow the croutons to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. The croutons should be golden brown and crispy. Remove immediately, and allow to cool.
- MAKE THE ARUGULA PESTO: Once the croutons are done and while the veggies are still roasting make the arugula pesto. To the bowl of a food processor add the almonds, arugula, parsley, and garlic. Pulse to mostly chop into small bits. Add the lemon juice, and stream in the olive oil as the food processor is running. Pulse in the salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese/nutritional yeast. The consistency should be thick. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, set aside.
- MAKE THE SOUP: Once the veggies are roasted transfer them to a large soup pot along with the vegetable stock. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. OR you can transfer the soup to a blender puree. Be careful when working with the hot liquid.
- Stir in the butter and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- SERVE: Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle on a few croutons and spoon on a generous dollop of pesto. Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in separate containers for up to 1 week.
Inspired by Pinch of Yum's 5 Ingredient Cheesy Cauliflower Soup with Kale Pesto
Nutrition facts DOES include the croutons and the pesto.