Here’s a velvety green dream of a soup—a creamy, fresh-greens medley, infused with a few good seasonings. In fact you’ll recognize all the ingredients as pretty basic, except for the truffle salt I snuck in at the end.
My older son treated me to truffle salt and truffle oil this past holiday season and it’s a great complement to cauliflower and other vegetable-based recipes. Truffles are a luxury item—check out this interview with the truffle lady of NYC traveling around town, distributing Italian truffles.
No worries if you don’t have truffled salt or oil, as it will still have great flavor with a simple fine salt. And if you do ever have the opportunity to try truffle salt or truffle oil, do so—it adds a subtle depth of flavor to vegetable soups and purées.
You can switch out some of the greens and onions if need be, so read the headnotes for any subs along the way. I favor spinach, zucchini, green onions, and parsley for this recipe but many other green and herb combos will work. I particularly love the parsley since it maintains the soup’s verdant color.
Green Velvet Soup
In case you need to sub a few things: In place of green onions you can use leeks, or yellow or white onion. For the spinach, you can sub kale or chard. You can use frozen spinach as well.
If you want a sub for parsley, I’d suggest a fresh herb that you favor, such as chervil, basil, cilantro or tarragon—keeping in mind that these alternative herbs will change the flavor.
As for substituting truffle salt, you can use any salt you favor, such as a fine sea salt.
One last note—I usually use water for this soup because it’s easier and I don’t always have vegetable broth on hand.
- 1 medium (about 400g) cauliflower head, trimmed and diced into chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon high heat oil (or ghee, melted)
- 1/4 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 (65 g) green onions, trimmed and diced
- 1 (250 g) medium zucchini, trimmed and diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 small bunch (100 g) fresh spinach, stemmed, rinsed and drained
- a large handful fresh parsley (about 1 cup, packed)
- 1/2 teaspoon truffle salt (or other salt)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- garlic cashew cream
- cashew cream (from my first cook book)
- goat cheese or other soft cheese
- roasted cauliflower (save some small pieces from step 2)
- crispy shallots or onions
- crumbled hard-boiled egg
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C or gas mark 6) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
- Mix together the diced cauliflower and garlic with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt and spread it across the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower begins to brown on the edges.
- While the cauliflower is baking, heat a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to it.
- Add the onions and zucchini to the saucepan and cook for 10 minutes or until the zucchini begins to soften and brown a bit.
- Add the cauliflower and 4 cups of vegetable broth or water to the onions and zucchini and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the zucchini are tender.
- Turn the heat off and add the spinach and parsley to the saucepan. Let the greens sit for a few minutes, or until they are wilted.
- Add the truffle salt and lemon juice and stir the soup to blend well.
- Using a blender, and immersion blender, or food processor, purée the soup in batches until it’s all well-blended and creamy.
- Serve warm, or cold, or store in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for a few months.
Makes 4 to 6 servings