The first thing I thought of when I read Chef Jeannette’s recipe for the “Stars of Spring” soup was that it reminded me of my juicing recipes. As many of you know, I am hardly a skilled chef, so my admiration for Jeanette’s recipes is heightened by the fact that I can actually make them—and if I can make them, believe me, anyone can.
What I particularly like about this recipe—the very thing that reminded me of how I make juice—is the sheer whimsicality of it. The two things I excel at making—coffee and juices—I learned to do by pure experimentation. I’d go to the grocery store and think, “This vegetable looks good, this one looks like it might blend well, this one has the right color—OK, let’s try it!” And over the years I’ve developed some awesome ways of putting together whatever happens to be available in the produce section. And this soup works in much the same way.
How whimsical—how random— how brilliant—is it to combine cauliflower, fennel, and leeks? I mean, really? But when you picture those three together, they suddenly make sense, both in terms of texture and color. The colors blend. The flavors mesh. Unlikely a combo as it might seem, it all comes together in an absolutely delicious blend that whispers “fresh and light” with every spoonful.
Roasting the veggies first deepens the rich flavor of this otherwise light soup. The cauliflower keeps the purée both low-cal and low-carb—a double winner in my book. For those who aren’t averse to using foods from humanely raised and healthy animals, you can enrich this soup with grass-fed butter, organic milk, and free-range chicken. For those who want to keep things plant-based, go to town with extra-virgin olive oil, coconut milk, and vegetable broth. Either way, this soup is a winner!
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