10 July 2010

Vegetable Soup from Cauliflower "Scraps"

I live on a shoestring.  I hate it, but I'm a grad student.  Such is the price.

Fortunately, I know how to live cheap.  Before I left my job, it wasn't all gravy.  Money was steady, but still tight.  So I learned how to eat healthy and also keep it cheap.

This soup is a way to stretch out a meal, and it's really good! It tastes just a little like cauliflower but mostly like a really clean, fresh, simple vegetable soup. I had it for lunch with a brie and tomato toasted sandwich, but you might have it as a starter. I can imagine, if you want to bulk this up to a soup you can make a whole meal out of, that orzo or some other tiny pasta would be a good addition, or a grain like bulgur, or chicken for you carnivores out there.  It's made, basically, from scraps.  If you make anything with a cauliflower head (may I suggest this or this), don't throw away the leaves and stems -- make this, instead!

Vegetable Soup from Cauliflower "scraps"
adapted from Lucullian Delights

The leaves and stem/trunk of 1 cauliflower (I left out the really rough-looking, tough, outermost leaves)
2 big tomatoes, peeled
Chopped flatleaf parsley
Extra virgin olive oil

Chop the leaves and the stem/trunk of the cauliflower and sauté them for 3-4 minutes in a pot in some olive oil. Add salt.

To peel tomatoes, cut an "x" in the bottom of each, then carefully add to a pot of boiling water. Remove with a slotted spoon after 30 seconds and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Go to where you made the "x" and peel the skin up and off the tomatoes. Quarter the skinned tomatoes, add these to the pot and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.

Add water until the vegetables are well covered and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until all the cauliflower is soft.

Blend until it's on the smooth side, if it's too dense you add some more water and heat it up. Check if more salt is needed.


  1. Great recipe and way of transforming scraps into a yummy and good looking plate, congrats!

    I specied it up by toasting 1/2 tsp each cumin seeds and mustard seeds in the olive oil before adding the chopped cauliflower, and adding 3/4 tsp each ground coriander, hot chili powder and turmeric powder + 1 1/2 tsp garam masala before adding the peeled tomatoes.

    1. What a great idea! I do love all those spices with cauliflower, so it makes sense. I'll try it myself next time - thanks for sharing! :)