Substitute the potatoes for cauliflower in this soup allowing for a unique and delicious twist, perfect for spring!
As Mother Nature begin to awaken again, the landscape abounds with blooms, flowers, and greenery, the Earth shining brightly in a full spectrum of color. Our energy moves upward as we emerge from winter, yielding a time of growth, celebration, and yearning to be outdoors. Just as any accumulated snow and ice from a cooler past, our bodies within begin to liquify stagnated energy releasing its heavy winter qualities.
Changing our foods as the weather changes keeps us healthy and well as it allows us to use foods naturally to balance the seasonal qualities. More specifically, the seasonal qualities associated with spring are: heavy, oily, damp, slow, cloudy, and stable. Foods best for spring season are warming as well as drying, allowing for a winter melt. The spring time diet calls for a little less salt as it tends to hold water in as opposed to letting it flow freely in accordance with the season. Ayurvedically speaking, light, easily digested meals with flavors of bitter (eg. vegetables like asparagus, arugula, cabbage, broccoli), pungent (eg. spices like ginger, lemon, black pepper, turmeric), and astringent (eg. raspberries or other berries, dried fruits like prunes, raisins, cherries) are most pacifying for this time of year.
Spring is a time for clearing and lightening, breaking down those dense, heavy qualities accumulated over the winter season.
Here’s a great twist on a more well known recipe, perfect for all the tastes and qualities of spring. You may have made potato leek soup in the past, but have you ever tried substituting cauliflower for the potatoes? If not, give this one a try! I’m willing to bet you won’t miss the potatoes, and your body will be happier without the simple carbohydrates from the potatoes. I made this for dinner and the whole family loved it, including my sometimes pickier 10 year old! All the flavors come together in a light, yet filling way in this delicious soup.
Spring-time Cauliflower Leek Soup
2 tsp sunflower or olive oil
1 head of cauliflower
1 medium sized leek (cut in small slices)
4 cups of vegetable broth (I used a garlic based, low-sodium broth and it was perfect, or you can make your own broth using vegetable “scraps” boiled and simmered in water)
1-2 tsp spring-time lemony salt mix (according to taste)
Add the oil to a large pan on the stovetop and heat on low. Add the leek to the oil, stirring occasionally, letting the leek brown on the edges.
Cut the cauliflower into small pieces, using mostly the flowering portion. The stems should be saved for making vegetable broth as they don‘t always purée as well. Once the leeks have browned, add the cauliflower and broth, keeping the cooking temperature on low.
As you’re waiting for the cauliflower to soften, about 15-20 minutes, you can make the spring salt mix. See recipe below. Once you‘ve made the spring salt mix, add 1-2 tsp to the soup, according to your flavor preference.
Once the cauliflower has softened, remove the pot from the stovetop and purée the soup. You can use a hand held immersion blender or pour the soup into a regular blender, mixing until smooth.
Your soup is now ready to be served! Enjoy!!
Here’s how to make the Spring-time Lemony Salt Mix:
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp pink Himalayan Salt, finely ground
2 tbsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dried lemon zest (you can make your own zest using fresh lemons, just allow it to dry fully before sealing the storage jar)
Grind the pepper, salt, basil, and cayenne pepper using a mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or a coffee grinder dedicated for use as a spice grinder. Add the lemon zest and shake or stir to mix thoroughly. Allow the lemon zest to dry before storing. Use this mixture during the spring season for flavoring on foods. It tastes amazing!
O’Donnell, K (2015). The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook. Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications, Inc.