Despite the fact that we are having 80-degree weather this week in Michigan, I am craving soup like crazy lately. I’m pretty sure what I am really craving is fresh vegetables. As spring comes to life I always crave fresh, whole produce, and my favorite way to make a batch of soup is to simmer a bunch of wholesome, healthy veggies in a pot and then puree them into a thick, creamy bowl of goodness. That’s exactly what this recipe for Creamy Leek and White Bean Soup does, too. Leeks, white beans, poblano, celery, garlic and yes, even cauliflower all in one dish. Don’t you just love that?
Wanna know another great thing about this recipe? It takes less than 30 minutes, and most of that time is hands-off simmer-time. Start by sweating the pepper, celery and leeks with thyme and garlic, which is pretty much the starting formula for most of my delicious soup concoctions! Sweating takes a few minutes, which makes the perfect time to finish prepping the cauliflower and strain the white beans.
For the simmering stage, add the cauliflower, white beans, bay leaves and liquid to the pot. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until beans and cauliflower are super tender, just about 10-15 minutes. In this batch, I’ve used chicken stock and 1/2 cup of heavy cream, but the recipe is super flexible. Substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock and skip the heavy cream all together, or swap almond milk instead, and you can have yourself a vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free dish in just minutes. I love recipes like that, don’t you!?
Once veggies are tender, blend it up in your Vitamix or other preferred blending apparatus, or with an immersion blender until smooth aaaaannnd velvety. Yummmmmmm!
Lastly, I’ll confess one more thing I love about making soup – cooking a big batch so I can save some for later, or even stash some in the freezer. I love making a bunch of veggie-packed soup so it’s ready and waiting for easy, light eating the rest of the week. Yes, this soup is surprisingly light! While it is thick and “creamy” it’s actually quite fresh tasting, and one bowl makes a satisfying meal, so you don’t have to fuss with multiple dishes. I told you, quick and easy!
So, whether you are experiencing summer like temps, or still breaking out of the winter-chill, I hope you’ll try this soup, too. It’s healthy, satisfying, easy and worth it! If you do try a batch, send me a pic! I love to see what cravings you all are cooking up at home! Happy eating!
A veggie-packed recipe, this soup is quick, easy, nutritious and super flexible so you can accommodate everyone’s cravings at your table.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Leeks, sliced thin
1 cup celery, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 14-ounce white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cauliflower florets
3 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional (omit, or sub almond milk)
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Set a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and warm. Once warm, add leeks, celery, poblano pepper, garlic cloves and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, then sweat until leeks are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir often. If browning, lower heat.
Add bay leaves, white beans, cauliflower florets, chicken stock and heavy cream (if using) to the pot. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer gently until beans and cauliflower are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Once veggies are tender, remove the bay leaves and sprigs of fresh thyme, if using. Time to puree the soup! I like the texture best when I use my Vitamix, but you can also use an immersion blender, which is admittedly easier, but won’t make it quite as velvety.
Work in batches (if using a blender) to puree the soup until smooth. Wipe out the pot and pour soup back into it. Set over lower heat. If soup is too thick, add water or more stock until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle soup into bowls. For texture, top with croutons or pumpkin seeds. Enjoy while warm!