Broccoli, Cauliflower and Leek Soup

vegetarian, healthy meals, frugal, leeks

If there’s one thing that my blog has taught me over the course of the past few weeks, it’s that almost every ingredient can be enjoyed by all, if only it’s prepared in an attractive manner. For instance, my recipes for roasted sweet potato and parsnip soup and root vegetable mash have already proved that parsnip can be enjoyable. Likewise, this soup recipe has largely transformed my once obnoxious attitude toward the cauliflower.

The main suspect in the case against the cauliflower is the somewhat ubiquitous cauliflower cheese. You see, this loathsome dish tends to be one of two things; insipid or watery. However, it could be considered somewhat brutish to judge what was once my least favourite brassica, by a largely awful dish. Instead, why not follow my lead and enjoy the poor vegetable in this exquisite soup?

Of course, we must be careful not to forget the other two members of this culinary triumvirate, as they play equally important roles. Since the broccoli and cauliflower are both brassicas, they naturally support one another in terms of flavour. As such, this soup possesses a rather bold flavour, backed up by the freshness of the leek. Therefore, it has a very neatly balanced flavour that is hard to tire of.

frugal living, healthy meals, vegetarian, vegetables, recipe, food

Finally, you may have noticed that this soup contains what is best described as a healthy dose of butter, an addition my gastronomic conscience deemed essential. However, since such an addition has the potentially irritating and problematic effect of rendering the dish unattractive to those of you with infamous dietary requirements, you may be forgiven for omitting the offending dairy derivative. However, such an allowance only applies if you are either vegan or have an intolerance to dairy… Enjoy!

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Leek Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 200g broccoli florets

• 200g cauliflower florets

• 1 large leek, finely sliced

• 2 small potatoes, diced

• 700ml vegetable stock

• 40g salted butter

• Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Fry the shredded leek in the butter until translucent, add the potato and then the stock, boil until the potato is soft.

frugal living, healthy meals, food, recipe, vegetarian, soup, vegetables

2. Tip in the florets, cook for a further 5 minutes before blending using a food processor or stick blender. Return the soup to the pan, heat through and season to taste. Serve with a hunk of bread and a slab of butter.

frugal living, healthy meals, thrifty, food, recipe, soup, vegetarian

Cost: In truth, we got the florets for 10p in a supermarket reduced section, but broccoli and cauliflower are cheap even at full price. Indeed, the entire batch of soup should set one back, at most, £1.70. Of course, that depends on the prices in your local area, but it’s rather difficult for me to estimate that!

142 thoughts on “Broccoli, Cauliflower and Leek Soup

  1. loren24250

    The soup looks very good, but you might also want to consider cauliflower done in an Indian style (if you haven’t already). The spiciness of Indian food really elevates the cauliflower into something tasty. Cheers!

  2. countrywoodsmoke

    Lovely soup Nick, but I must disagree on the cauli cheese, yes it can be as you described, but has potential to be a dish of such comfort and warming heart if made with care to the ingredients, and in nature totally frugal…..may I challenge thee to rethink and have a go at cauli cheese once more, but with a thick unctous blue cheese and mustard enriched sauce?
    I’d love to see a FF version. :)
    Cheers
    Marcus

  3. Patch

    It looks lovely and no doubt tastes lovely too. Wondered whether it caused any of the infamous broccoli and cauliflower side effects??

    I also have to disagree about cauliflower cheese. It’s a favourite here, full of flavour and in no way watery. Made with Cauliflower, broccoli plus leeks and mushrooms and homemade cheesey sauce, sometimes with a crumble topping but often not… Totally yummy.

  4. narf77

    I might be vegan but butter is king of our home. I just don’t eat it :(. Why would you mess about with non dairy buttery type spreads when they just aren’t butter and they certainly aren’t healthy for you? I just don’t eat it…I sub with good quality extra virgin olive oil and at least I get to smell the delicious creations that I make for Steve ;)…(there aren’t any calories in smells are there? I can’t get drummed out of the vegan confraturnity because I secretly inhale the smells of butter and bacon and buttered toast and fried eggs can I?!)… This soup looks healthy…deceptively so. I love soup but haven’t actually ever eaten green soup. Must try this. I love cauliflower especially roasted (YUM!) so can’t quite fathom the disclaimer BUT I admit…I also love Brussels sprouts and Broad beans which puts me in the “clinically insane” bracket for some people out there ;)

    1. frugalfeeding

      That’s a shame :D – though, not really… I don’t like it when people try to veganise things that could never be properly vegan… technically you are inhaling particles of meat and dairy, so… not really vegan :D. I guess I;ve never had a good one made for me… broad beans are all right, but I think brussels sprouts are another ingredient I’ll have to devise a crafty recipe for.

      1. narf77

        Hey…I have been the unimpressed recipient of half a stink bug in my chard once a long time ago…took me a fair while to eat it again after that little event! If we get down to the nitty gritty our food is FULL of life… anything that we ferment has life in it, anything that we eat has a nice fuzzy coating (unseen of course or we would all die of anorexia) of fungi, bacteria and certain inert viri who are just waiting for the right conditions to do their thang. It’s a bit like those Buddhist monks who walk along sweeping the ground as they go to stop them from squishing something…sometimes you can take things a little bit too far ;). Brussels sprouts are one of my favourite veggies and turn broad beans into a pesto fit for a king and no-one will complain. It’s all about the delivery and the taste and if you can deliver something that tastes good, you win! :)

    2. Linne

      Would love to see your recipe for brussels sprouts and broad bean pesto, if you have time. I love all veggies, except maybe banana squash (I like a bit of flavour in them), and that sounded great. I could see using it as a dip for tortilla chips . . . or piling it on top of a baked potato . . . ~ Linne

  5. Somer

    Dude, you crack me up, I can’t imagine you not naturally loving cauliflower and parsnips, but then again, I don’t think there’s a vegetable that I’m not in love with. I like how you’ve only just cooked the broccoli and cauliflower so that they stay vibrant and fresh in the soup. Oh and thanks for adding me to your blogroll, I’m flattered!

  6. The Vagabond Baker

    Looks delicious, I love a good soup. I’m not the greatest fan of broccoli but it makes damn fine soup!
    The secret to awesome Cauliflower cheese is to use a good strong, tasty cheddar cheese and to under-cook the cauliflower so it retains some bite, al dente if you will. I rarely bake it or grill it, just serve it as is. Delish.

    1. frugalfeeding

      Thanks :). I’m not either, but you’re quite right. I’m sure I could make a great cauliflower cheese, but I still don’t think I’d like it… besides, it was more a comment on the ones other people had made for me! :D

  7. Sandra

    Like you, I’m not a big fan of cauliflower, but I made this recipe tonight. I didn’t have vegetable stock on hand or time to make it from scratch so I used a tamarind stock cube instead, which I diluted because I wasn’t sure how strong the flavour would be. Turned out really great and was very quick. Thanks for helping me broaden my cauliflower world!!!

  8. musingmar

    The colour of this soup is so vibrant; one glimpse of the photo and I immediately dove into your post. Actually, I’d like to dive into this lovely soup (with a spoon, of course).

  9. Clark&Jordan

    This looks and sounds like a treat! Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to broccoli over the summer and can no longer eat it. :( Womp womp. Maybe I’ll make a batch for the husband sometime, though!

    1. Linne

      Is it possible you reacted to the sprays/fertilizers used to grow the broccoli, and not to the veg itself? I would try a wee bit of organic just to test it myself. But depends how bad a reaction you had. And that’s just me, anyway ~ always pushing the envelope . . . ~ Linne

  10. Susan

    I adore both parsnips and cauliflower, and find them not in the least offensive, so take my comment with that in mind, but I do find that roasting cauliflower before using them in any recipe tends to eliminate the wateriness. Beautiful colors in this soup, Frugal!

  11. kylbeebee

    You can’t beat roast cauliflower – nutty and an ENTIRELY different flavour. Make a pearl barley risotto (dead cheap) and chuck it on top with a bit of parsley/oregano/toasted pinenuts…. YUM!

  12. movita beaucoup

    Oddly enough, I’m making leek soup this afternoon – a carrot version that is not unlike yours. I love the combination of broccoli and cauliflower in your version. I think if any two veggies were to get married, it would be broccoli and cauliflower. Just sayin’.

    There is nothing – NOTHING – in my mind like soup on a fall day…

  13. terrepruitt

    Yum. I put parsnips in soup. Never thought of them before and then one day they came to my attention and I cook them up and puree them into a soup. I do the same with leeks. Just make leek soup last week. I have never been a fan of cauliflower until I tried using it as a stuffing for portabellas (which I didn’t care for either). And broccoli is a common veggie in our house.

    Making a soup of Broccoli, Cauliflower and Leek Soup never occurred to me. I don’t think of using cauliflower except in the mushroom recipe. This sounds delicious and nutritious. I will have to try a version of it. Yummy. Thank you for the inspiration!

  14. foreverwellsharon

    Hi, I like it! I made a broccoli, leeks, potato soup few months ago, and that was good. I am glad you added cauliflower. I do not usually cook with cauliflower.
    I would add garlic and ginger to the soup as well!
    Thanks.
    Sharon

  15. GiRRL_Earth

    Hello FF!

    I made a vegan version of this on Monday evening and it was fantastic! It’s interesting (well, not really) I spend most of my time focusing so much of my attention on macrobiotic recipes that I forget there are simple, and equally as healthy non-macro dishes out in the world as well (like this dish!).

    Last night, I re-heated a bowl and I really could have gone back for 2nds. I must admit, I did alter the recipe a bit. I didn’t like the look of the leeks at my local grocery store, so I used shallots instead. I also used vegan butter (something, I never thought to cook with — I primarily use it for vegan baking).

    Good on you! Keep the recipes coming.

    Best,
    Susan

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  17. Linne

    Did I not mention that I don’t really need any more to be obsessed over? Guess not . . .
    This soup sounds wonderful; now I will have to try it. I LOVE leeks (and all the brassicas, too!) BTW, my Mum does parsnips by peeling, julienning them (is that a verb?), sauteeing them lightly in butter or marg (she’s more old-school than I), then adding brown sugar and cooking them until the brown sugar is well-dissolved. Probably not good for you if eaten often, but we usually only have them once or twice a year. Very yummy, and why there are 2 lovely parsnips in the frig right now!
    This soup would also be great cold in the summer.
    I usually use leeks in leek and potato soup,
    Have you ever made fruit soup (I can’t remember just now how to spell it in Norwegian). It is also great hot or cold (go by the season); it’s a variety of dried fruits, soaked (I like apple juice, but water will do), then cooked slowly until they are soft. Somewhere along the line, add some tapioca to thicken it. A little lemon is good, too, so long as you are not adding milk or cream, or serving it with cereals. In my lovely woodstove days, this soup (whenever I had the money for the ingredients) would sit on the back of the stove all day. We liked it for any meal, adding whatever sides we preferred. Usually toast and cheese for breakfast. This is also a great dessert soup, and I like it with simple drop biscuits. For fancy, I make rose-oil scented butter to slather them with.
    I have used figs, dates, raisins, dried apples, pears, cherries, etc. Pretty much whatever you like and your family will eat. Thanks for the lovely food ideas. The day is not long enough . . .
    ~ Linne

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  20. Linne

    I am eating this soup for the first time right now. But it won’t be the last time! I love all the ingredients; I think overcooking or boiling them right in water is why so many dislike the brassicas. I cooked these fairly quickly and added a bit more water before I blended it. I’d forgotten about the potato, as I was cooking while searching for the recipe on my phone. So I cut up half a baked potato from last night and threw that in. I think next time I’ll add some garlic powder (not that it needs anything; I just mess around with recipes). Thanks so much for the recipe! The sweet potato/carrot soup is next, and I will read the recipe first (-; . . . ~ Linne

      1. Linne

        I liked the garlic powder in the soup; would have liked fresh garlic even more, I think, but my Mum doesn’t care for garlic, so I tone it down a bit, as this is her apt. I gues I didnt really read the recipe; I see today that it calls for sauteeing the leek, etc. I chopped the veggies roughly, dumped them in a saucepan with some water (more than a cup, I think), simmered until done, then used my new stick blender to shmush them up together.
        I hate to say it, but I often only read the ingredient lists (and yes, it does cause me trouble at times); I can only remember one time when I actually followed a recipe exactly; not a single creative variation. I made something for my sister’s Christmas party (she’s a nurse) because she was in hospital up to the day of. She knows me fairly well and made me SWEAR!! to follow her recipe without deviation. I did, and she was happy. . . then I was back to my usual life of happy and not so happy surprises. Seriously, most of my changes are just flavouring or whatever, nothing serious. But three days ago, after we took delivery of a 40 lb box of MacIntosh apples from BC (my homeland), I made a large apple crisp/cobbler. I don’t have my recipes (that I have developed over the years) here with me, so attempted to make it from memory (of a few years ago now). It might have been ok, but I think I took it out of the oven a wee bit too soon; only one edge was browned. The dough/topping is a tiny bit undercooked and doughy. However, I’ve been heating it in the microwave before I pour the milk over it and it’s been edible; just a bit heavy. Will that teach me? Maybe, but then again . . .

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  24. Jane Cohen

    Hi, I tried this recipe yesterday with the ingredients having already been in my fridge as I’d been ill and hadn’t been able to cook, so the whole dish cost me £0. My daughter is cows milk allergic so I used goats butter. Also I added half a little pack of goats cream cheese I had in the fridge. It was one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever tasted and I’m not a lover of broccoli/cauliflower normally. I’ve put a photo I took of mine on FB and encouraged my friends to check out your recipes.

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