Cauliflower Soup with Shallots and Pine Nuts (vegan & gluten-free)


 I’m sure my cousin Lea doesn’t ever remember making this soup for me. She’s that kind of cook (scratch that, she’s a real live chef) – one who makes an amazing soup out of nowhere, and then forgets about it, because it comes so easily to her. Of course, her daughter Liv has a discerning palate, too. She’s the kind of kid who would like oyster mushrooms and caramelized onions in her omelette, please. A Tyke Gourmet kind of kid.

Lea made this for my sister and me – I wanted to go out for soup and salad; she said we could do better ourselves. She did… and this is one of those recipes that she threw together, but I have made again and again (especially when I am missing my cuz like I have been!), as well as I can remember how she did it.

I hope you enjoy this, too: it’s a perfect fall soup. Roasting the cauliflower brings out its nutty flavor and is lovely with the marsala and black pepper. Don’t forget the buttery pine nuts, they really make this soup special. 

Cauliflower Soup with Shallots and Pine Nuts
  1. 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  2. 1-2 shallots, sliced (or 1 large leek, green top removed)
  3. 1 T olive oil plus more for serving
  4. 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  5. 1/3 cup marsala or white wine
  6. 3-4 cups vegetable broth
  7. juice of 1/4 lemon
  8. 1/3 cup pine nuts
  9. freshly ground black pepper
  10. red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss the cauliflower florets, garlic cloves, and shallots with olive oil and arrange in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip using tongs, and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the stems have become mostly translucent and the florets are browned and even black in some places. Take out the vegetables and turn the oven down to 325°F.
  3. Add the roasted vegetables and 1/3 cup wine to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. When the wine has reduced by half, add 3 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the pine nuts to the baking sheet and roast in the oven at 325°F for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown.
  5. Purée the soup well using a blender or immersion blender. Put back in the saucepan and add more vegetable broth to reach the desired consistency. Warm the soup, squeeze in the lemon juice, and then serve: add a tablespoon of pine nuts to the bottom of four bowls, spoon in the soup, and then add a drizzle of olive oil, a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and a few of the extra pine nuts to garnish.
chel rabbit

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