Cauliflower & Pear Soup
A purée of earthy cauliflower, ripe pears, yellow onion, and aromatic fennel, this vegan soup is deeply savory, velvety smooth — and, as our tasters said when they took their first sips, so surprising. In a good way! Between the fennel and some fresh ginger, it smells wonderful and has a delicate fruitiness you don’t often find in soup. We’ve sprinkled toasted almonds over it for a delightful crunch. And we’ve also added lemon juice, so it has an unexpected brightness that’s so refreshing, especially now, as we push through the end of winter.
We like that it feels hearty, but it isn’t heavy, and we can whip it up in 30 minutes, which makes it perfect for a light weeknight meal — put it on the table with a salad, a baguette, and some sweet cream butter, and you’re all set. And yet, it is such a revelation that it would make a very elegant soup course if you’ve got friends or family coming to dinner.
Our tip: In the summertime, try this soup room temperature or cold — it’ll give your gazpacho a run for its money. And, hot or cold, pair it with an Augey Bordeaux Blanc. It’s light, dry, and crisp, with just a hint of citrus to complement the cauliflower and fennel.
1 Tbsp good fruity olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 small bulb fennel, chopped, fronds reserved
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup toasted almond slivers
Salt, to taste
In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onion and sauté until translucent and tender, about 5 or 6 minutes.
Add the cauliflower, fennel, and ginger and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the pears and sauté for another minute.
Add the vegetable stock and lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a blender or use an immersion blender to purée until smooth.
Season with salt, and then garnish with toasted almond slivers, fresh parsley, fennel fronds, and a drizzle of olive oil.