Soup season is upon us! Y’all know I love a good soup and this particular one I made
has been my favorite so far. Creamy, rich, and almost decadent without the extra fuss
all because of tender vegetables and tons of depth worked in. With the help of my
favorite Spice Tribe blend and spices and my trusty immersion blender, I was able to
whip up a fancy-looking and delicious soup in no time.
For this recipe, I decided to stick with a play on a white mirepoix, which is a variation of
the traditional French seasoning base of onion, celery, and carrot. Here, I used leeks for
their delicate onion flavor, celery for some earthiness, and parsnips for some
sweetness without the orange color carrots leave when boiled. I wanted to keep the
soup the same shade throughout the cooking process. I’m also not huge on using dairy
that much these days, so if you’d like to use plant-based milk or cream here, that’s
definitely a great option to make the soup completely vegan (if omitting the prosciutto
But to be honest, my favorite part of this soup is the gremolata oil, which gets drizzled
on top for an extra kick of flavor and brightness to offset the richness of the soup.
Gremolata is an amazing Italian condiment, full of herbs, garlic, and lemon and I love
putting it on roasted cauliflower, so I decided to turn it into a blended oil for the soup.
We have some great flavors here, folks, so let’s get cooking!
Step 1 -
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
Sauté the cleaned and sliced leeks, celery, parsnips, and garlic cloves until slightly
tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Step 2 -
Toss in the cauliflower florets and stir with the partially cooked vegetable mixture.
Season with Spice Tribe Porcini Paradiso and stir to fully combine. Pour in the
vegetable stock or water, chopped rosemary, thyme, tarragon, and bay leaves. Season
to taste with kosher salt and white pepper.
Step 3 -
Bring to a boil and turn the heat to medium-low, simmering the soup until the cauliflower
and parsnips are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork or knife, about 30
Step 4 -
While the soup is simmering, work on your gremolata oil by combining the chopped
garlic cloves, parsley leaves, lemon zest, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and cracked
Spice Tribe Late Harvest Black Peppercorns in a mini food processor or immersion
blender cup. Blitz together until fully combined and bright green in appearance and set
aside. Taste and adjust seasoning. If using the immersion blender, clean it up to use for
the soup later.
Step 5 -
After the 30 minutes have passed for the soup and the cauliflower florets are tender, turn
the heat off completely. Carefully remove the bay leaves and discard them. Using an
immersion blender (or if using a regular blender or food processor, carefully work in
batches and vent the lid to avoid overheating and/or popping the lid of the appliance),
blend until desired consistency and creaminess, pouring in the half and a half during this
process. Stir to fully combine and turn the heat back on low and cover with a lid to stay
warm while working on the garnishes.
Step 6 -
To toast the pine nuts, frequently stir pine nuts in a dry skillet until golden brown and
nutty in smell. Set aside. To crisp the prosciutto, start a few thin slices in a cold pan and cook until crispy, adding a little neutral oil as needed in case it sticks. It should crisp and crumble just like cooked bacon. Set aside.
Step 7 -
Serve the soup, topping with the toasted pine nuts and crumbled prosciutto. Drizzle the
bowl with the gremolata oil and enjoy! The leftover soup tastes better the next day and the
oil holds for 4-5 days!
Note: leeks are grown in very sandy soil, so to make sure you don’t get any sand or dirt
into your soup, once you slice them, soak and shake them around in a large bowl of
cold water. This will allow the sediment to fall to the bottom of the bowl. All you’ll have to
do next is scoop them out with your hands or a slotted spoon to place into your pot.
Don’t pour the soaked leeks and strain them with a colander, you’ll just end up getting
the sand from the bottom of the bowl all over them. That’s no Bueno!
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