West Coast Inspired Roasted Cauliflower Soup
This roasted cauliflower soup recipe is inspired by one of the dishes I tried recently at Pluvio restaurant in Ucluelet. Roasting the cauliflower adds so much depth and complexity to this plant based soup. Hazelnuts go well with the deep caramelized flavour and add rich texture. This soup is creamy (without using cream) and ticks all the boxes of comfort food.
Eating And The Edge To Edge Race In Ukee
One of my girlfriends organized our yearly get together around the Edge To Edge race in Ucluelet, BC. Though the course is incredibly scenic and I carried my cell phone to take pictures, it ended up raining so hard we couldn’t see a single view! Thank goodness the food scene was better. In addition to running, these girls like to eat too and there is no better spot on the Island than here.
Dining On The West Coast In Tofino And Ucluelet
We stayed in Tofino nearby and ate at Sobo, Tacofino, and the (new at the time) 1909. All of our meals (and dancing after dinner at 1909) were stellar. We then made the trek to Ucluelet for an unforgettable dinner at Pluvio. Owned and run by Warren Barr and his wife Lily, this is the upscale food Warren cooked at the Wickaninnish Inn but in a casual and playful setting.
What Makes This Cauliflower Soup The Best
I enjoyed the tasting menu and the cauliflower soup was one of my many creative and mouth watering courses. My version is much simpler (I didn’t get Chef Warren’s recipe) but it gets deep flavour from roasting the cauliflower and stirring in a little hazelnut oil at the end adds a nutty richness. (Below a pic of the delicious Pluvio version which was garnished with local sidestriped shrimp-SO GOOD!)
Vegan Or Not, Make It Your Way
This cauliflower soup is a perfect starter but also a light lunch or dinner. I serve mine garnished with homemade croutons (crispy outside, soft inside), parsley and fresh hazelnuts grown right here in Campbell River. It is equally good made vegan by using nut milk and veggie stock instead of dairy and chicken stock.
Make Ahead Soup That Reheats Well
This soup can easily be made 1-2 days ahead, kept in the refrigerator and reheated gently before serving. Do not bring to a full boil when reheating, just heat on low in a saucepan until hot. Garnish when you serve it. (My Broccoli Cheese Soup and Wild Mushroom Soup also work well made ahead and reheated to serve.)
Enjoy my friends, and maybe head out to the West Coast with your girlfriends 😉
Roasted Cauliflower And Hazelnut Soup
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Head of Cauliflower, cut roughly into 8 chunks
- 1 c Onion, diced about 1 medium onion
- 1 Celery Rib, diced
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg, grated
- 2 c Russet Potatoes, diced about 2 medium
- 4 c Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
- 1/2 c Whole Milk or Unsweetened Nut Milk
- 2 tbsp Hazelnut Oil
- 1 c Fresh Homemade Croutons for garnish
- 1/2 c Fresh Hazelnuts, halved for garnish
- 1/2 c Parsley, coarsely chopped for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400'F. Place cauliflower on baking sheet, toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and roast in oven 20 minutes or until lightly browned, then remove from oven.
- Heat remaining tbsp of oil in a 4 qt pot on medium, then saute onion and celery with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and nutmeg until translucent. Add roasted cauliflower, potatoes and stock and simmer on medium-low 20 to 30 min until potatoes are soft.
- Using immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Add milk or alternative and hazelnut oil, blend briefly to mix, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately topped with garnishes in individual bowls.
- *Homemade Croutons: Cube fresh or day old bread and saute with butter or olive oil and salt or seasoning salt on medium heat until crispy outside and still soft inside.