Every Sunday, I'm going to start posting a healthy and filling Meatless Monday recipe for you to all try at home. All of these recipes are going to have an under 30 minute prep time and will feature ingredients that will be easy to find at your local supermarket. (No vegan feta cheeses or raw cashew butters, for example.) They will also be relatively low in fat, but still have tons of flavor!
I'm beginning this collection with Cauliflower Pesto Soup, a recipe that is quick to prepare and perfect for rainy days and cold weather. Serve this one with some delicious and thickly sliced toast.
Cauliflower Pesto Soup
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 head cauliflower (about a pound), leaves removed, cut into florets
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus a little extra for garnish
6 teaspoons toasted pine nuts, optional
1. Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for about a minute, being careful not to let it burn. Add the cauliflower, 3 cups of the broth (alert! only three! you'll be adding the last cup in a bit), salt, and several pinches of pepper. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Let cook, stirring every now and again, for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
2. Vigorously mix together the final cup of broth and the arrowroot until dissolved. Lower heat a bit so that the soup is at a slow boil. Mix in the arrowroot mixture and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the basil leaves and remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Taste for salt.
3. If you don't have an immersion blender (get one!), then use a blender or a food processor to puree it in batches, being careful to lift the lid once in a while so that the steam doesn't build up and explode.
4. Serve the soup garnished with chopped fresh basil and a teaspoon of pine nuts. To garnish, carefully place a little pile of basil on the soup, and then rest the pine nuts on the basil. (If it sinks, oh well! It will taste just as yummy.)