So you can make soup with pretty much anything, particularly veggies by just cooking, adding liquid, seasoning and blending. Given that it is so incredibly easy, not to mention tasty and good for you, it should be a go-to for everyone, especially in the colder months of the year. If it hasn’t been, I’m here to show you how with an incredibly easy and delicious veggie – cauliflower!
The cauliflower is a veggie that was not really on my radar until I went low carb. It replaces some higher carb option and is surprisingly versatile (see my cauliflower mash recipe here as well as my cauliflower pizza recipe here…oh and my cauliflower cheese toasties too!). You can eat it raw (great with dips) or cooked in a variety of ways (baked, roasted, fried, steamed). However if you don’t know what to do with it, it can also be quite bland and when over-cooked, is mushy and no good. So basically, I’m here to help you learn how to cook with cauliflower. Yay!
But first, let’s have a little chat about what’s really good about cauliflower… This cruciferous veggie is packed with vitamin C and we all learnt growing up that vitamin C keeps us from getting sick [1. Pubmed Vit C] [2. Pubmed Vit C]. Basically, this vitamin, also an antioxidant, helps to strengthen our immune system because it protects cells against certain infection and this then reduces the risk and severity of infections. Now what’s important is that taking vitamin C when you are sick has not been proven to cure your sickness (even though when sick, one’s vitamin C levels drop), so you need to have a steady intake of vitamin C in your diet to assist cell function and maintain these levels to prevent and try to avoid getting sick in the first place.
In addition to this, cauliflower contains magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, protein and fiber. Not to mention many B vitamins such as riboflavin, folate, thiamin, pantothenic acid, B6 and niacin [3. Mercola].
And without going into too much detail, these vitamins and minerals are all essential to cell functions and deficiencies in these can cause a whole host of problems (oh and lack of fibre affects your poop). (But if you want more, Dr. Axe has a really detailed list of benefits here…it’s insane, we’re talking gut and brain and heart and eyes and hormones!)
Not too bad huh?! Oh and cauliflower may also have some cancer-fighting properties too! A quick search of pubmed will show you the benefits of cruciferous veggies on the body. Here are a few for your interest…
N.B remember that for nearly every study, someone will try to prove the opposite OR the studies are not always the most reliable, especially if observational OR they will say that more research needs to be done – which is almost always the case, so it’s important to not just believe what I say but to read and educate yourself…
- Cruciferous veggie intake and lung cancer in Chinese women [4. Pubmed Lung cancer]
- Colon cancer fighting properities [5. Pubmed colon cancer]
- There are also articles for bladder cancer, ovarian cancer [6. Pubmed Ovarian cancer], prostate cancer [7. Pubmed Prostate cancer], breast cancer [8. Pubmed Breast cancer] and the list goes on.
Oh and remember that this recipe does not only contain cauliflower but also brussel sprouts so it’s a double-whammy of cruciferous veggies…aren’t you feeling so lucky right now?!
Here’s the nutritional info (I used the keto diet app calculator)
But you’re like, come on Bianca, get us to this delicious, amazing recipe…ok, ok…here it is.
CREAMY CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH BRUSSELS AND BACON
- Glug of Olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 1 whole head of cauliflower – chopped into small florets
- 2 cups bone broth (homemade is best)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 100 grams butter
- 1 cup cheese (optional)
- 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4-6 slices of bacon diced (omit if you are vegetarian)
- 12-15 Brussel sprouts sliced into pieces (however you like)
N.B I get most of my ingredients from Field’s lifestyle. I find it the most reliable source here in China for quality produce and believe me, I’ve done my research :).
The most important here is the meat. The bacon that I recommend is the JQS bacon. It is from free range black pigs way up in northern China close to the border of North Korea that are not fed any antibiotics or hormones…oh and right now (the 8th Nov, 16), it’s half price!
- In a saucepan and on a medium heat, add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion and garlic and sauté. Continue stirring until mix becomes translucent and starts to caramelise (will go a little brown).
- Add the cauliflower and the butter and continue to stir for a couple of minutes.
- Add the broth and water. Let simmer for 30 mins or until the cauliflower is soft when pierced with a knife or fork. If you don’t have broth, just use 3 cups of water. You will need to season a lot more so taste and add additional salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mix to a blender, you’ll need to blend it over several goes as there will be too much to fit in all at once. If you’re adding cheese, add now and blend. Alternatively, if you have a hand blender, you can blend directly into the saucepan.
- Return to the pot. You can put it on a low heat to keep warm or reheat just before serving.
The brussel sprouts and bacon…
- In a frying pan, add the bacon and sauté on a low heat turning until cooked.
- Once cooked, put to the side and sauté the brussel sprouts in the bacon grease… mmmm, bacon grease! If you are veggie, cook the brussels in whatever fat you prefer, coconut oil or olive oil (not a seed oil as these cause inflammation and honestly, taste gross!)
- While cooking, season the brussels with salt and pepper.
- Combine the bacon with the brussels and add to the soup.
Tah dah! The flavours in this soup will blow your mind, I’m not even joking!
Delicious, homemade, nutritious, low carb and high, yet healthy, fat soup! Unlike many soups where you end up hungry an hour or so after and you need bread to get you through, one bowl of this soup will fuel you for hours!
Have you made soup before, cauliflower or other? Feel free to comment below!
Love (and healthy fats) Bianca x