Creamy vegan cauliflower soup with crispy, mustard-roasted parsnip croutons.
Creamy soups are conflictive to my palate. I enjoy their richness, their comforting nature, and their easy preparation. But I also favor foods with many textures, and creamy soups fail here. Don’t get me wrong — I will eat any creamy soup you got, any day. But I guess I feel far more satisfied after a bowl full of multiple characteristics. To me, a straight up creamy soup is like a dip without a chip. Would you eat guacamole with a spoon? What is velvetty hummus without a complimenting crunchy carrot?
“I,” said the sheep with curly horn/ “I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm/ He wore my coat on Christmas morn/ I,” said the sheep with curly horn
So I had to have a crispy element to the soup. I found out last year that I really like parsnips. Turns out, their lightly sweet and nutty notes make the perfect crouton. I dressed them up in my favorite stone-ground mustard, Inglehoffer (not sponsored), for an extra kick. And the mustard seeds added another layer of texture.
Quick aside – I promised myself that this winter, I would be more adventuous in my vegetable preparation. Meaning, I wasn’t going to roast everything like I usually do. And these croutons were the first thing I’ve roasted since the weather turned cold. Small changes, people.
The parsip croutons were tasty, but I wanted another element of texture and color. A sprinkling of grassy microgreens took care of that. I also tried to break up some French endive to use as “spoons” for eating the soup, but that didn’t turn out so well. But I added the endive to a salad later on in the week, for, um…extra texture. And it was good.
Croutons and soup have relatively similar cooking times, you can make them simultaneously
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped (about 20 oz)
- 3 cups veggie broth
- 3/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 tbsp finely diced fresh sage
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- handful of kale microgreens
- 1 pound parsnips, cubed
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp stone ground mustard*
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Place the white onion, the bay leaf, the sage, the garlic, and the celery seed in a medium saucepan. Add just enough broth to cover.
- Placed pot, with lid, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until onions are very soft.
- Add the cauliflower and more broth to cover. Replace lid and continue to cook until cauliflower softens, about 12-18 min. Add the remaining broth, if any.
- Remove from heat, allow to cool, and the puree. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450
- Combine the coconut oil, lemon juice,mustard, brown sugar, black pepper, and salt.
- Toss the parsnips in the mustard mix.
- Roast for 10 minutes, stir, and roast for another 8-10 min.
- To serve, divide soup among bowls and add croutons. Add a handful of microgreens.
* I love love love Inglehoffer stone ground mustard. Yes, it's vegan. And addicting. And I don't know what the croutons would taste like with other mustards. Inglehoffer isn't paying me to say any of this. I just really like it.
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