Creamy Cauliflower & Leek Soup

A simple and beautifully seasoned soup

Creamy Cauliflower & Leek Soup // www.mesacookingco.com

My husband and I treated ourselves to a whirlwind five-day tour of Paris at the end of May that kicked off our summer in the best way possible. We walked around 15 miles a day, sweated through our very limited packed clothes, and stuffed ourselves with wedges of tangy cheese, thick chunks of steaming bread, and every other mouth-watering food France offered us.

We raced through all of the big, touristy sites in Paris because, well, they are famous and popular for a reason. The Louvre, the Arc de Triompe (we climbed it and the views of the city were unbeatable), Notre-Dame, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Sacré-Cœur, the Luxembourg Gardens, the Pantheon, Sainte-Chapelle, and the Conciergeriethe history packed into this city was incredible. That is one of my favorite things about Europe: you can see and touch things from hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

The most basic thing I could write right now is how amazing the Eiffel Tower is. And it really, really was (sorry, not sorry). Tall, majestic, and beautiful – it sits over the city in the loveliest way. I bought into the magic of the Eiffel Tower from my first glimpse of it through a window on the metro.

We landed in Paris the first day around noon. Jake and I navigated the metro system, bleary-eyed, dragging our little suitcase behind us. I had already booked reservations for our first French restaurant experience near our AirBnB – all part of the detailed plan to stay awake at least until 9pm by all means necessary! Jet lag is no joke, y’all.

I knew all my research on the best restaurants to try during our limited time totally paid off when a cauliflower soup was set in front of me as my first course. Oh my goodnessit was amazing. Smooth, creamy and RICH. I’m guessing there was about four tablespoons of butter melted into that one bowl of soup. At. Least.

Talk about the perfect introduction to Paris. I ate every last spoonful of that soup and wished for more.

I couldn’t identify all of the flavors, but I did my best because I already knew a recreation would be happening in my own kitchen soon. And here it is!

It’s a fairly simple recipe, but cutting up cauliflower, leeks, and shallots might feel a little tedious. Turn on your favorite podcast (my latest favorites: The West Wing Weekly, The Popcast with Knox and Jamie, and Code Switch) and chop away! I find this to be therapeutic work, but if you need a shortcut, you can always toss it all into a food processor and pulse a couple times.

We’ll cook the veggies, add some herbs and broth, blend well, and then add a cup of heavy cream because you can’t fake that richness. (Do not even think about substituting some skim milk!) Add a dollop of crème fraîche or some fresh herbs on top at the end if you’re feeling fancy.

Serve warm, eat your delicious soup, and book a flight to Paris.

Creamy Cauliflower & Leek Soup // www.mesacookingco.com

Creamy Cauliflower & Leek Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • Several springs of fresh thyme, stems removed
  • A couple leaves of fresh sage
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Olive oil
  • Very generous salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spread the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a few glugs of olive oil, toss, and spring generously with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes or until completely tender.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, heat a little olive oil and sauté the shallot and leek for about 10 or 15 minutes, until softened. You can cook them in a little vegetable broth as well.
  3. Allow the cauliflower, shallot, and leeks to cool down slightly and place in a blender or food processor. Add the vegetable broth, thyme, and sage. Blend until smooth - it may take a couple minutes.
  4. Add the heavy cream and taste. Add more seasoning as necessary - salt and pepper well. Warm up on the stove a bit if you'd like it warmer before enjoying.

 

Salted Chocolate Nut & Oat Bites

Salted Chocolate Nut & Oat Bites // www.mesacookingco.com

Happy Monday! Today I’m sharing a little treat that you can make in 10 minutes, perhaps to brighten your Monday evening!

The wonderful things of this recipe:

  • 7 easy ingredients
  • Protein power in the pecans and almond butter
  • 10 minutes to throw together
  • It’s a snack or a healthier dessert
  • They look cute
  • You can make them in mini cupcake papers like this or roll them into balls
  • SALTED – I never knew what salted chocolate was about until the past year or so and now I am all about it

Next time you need an easy treat, try a batch of these!

Salted Chocolate Nut & Oat Bites // www.mesacookingco.com

Salted Chocolate Nut & Oat Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12 bites
Ingredients
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • A pinch of coarse salt
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips, melted
Instructions
  1. Combine the oats, pecans, almond butter, honey, vanilla, and salt until incorporated. If it feels too crumbly, add a tablespoon of honey or so. Fill mini cupcake papers with the mixture and press firmly down (alternatively, you can roll it into balls). Pop in the fridge for a few minutes to allow them to firm up.
  2. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cups and sprinkle a bit of coarse salt on top.
  3. Enjoy immediately or keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Notes
Make gluten-free: Be sure to use GF-certified oats.
Make vegan: Substitute honey for a vegan sweetener like agave and use vegan chocolate.

If you try these salted chocolate nut and oat bites, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!

© MESA COOKING CO. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images or content without prior permission.

Pecan Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast

A simple and scrumptious salad made with pecans, cranberries, and delicious warm goat cheese toast – it’s pecan cranberry salad with goat cheese toast!!

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

Watch out. An obsession with goat cheese toast coming atcha in 3, 2, 1 – – –

Goat cheese toast is my favorite new thing (besides these enchiladas from Pinch of Yum – holy cow these are amazing!) and I need you all to share in the goodness with me. They are the superstars of this salad – cause bread should be the star of every salad, right??

All they’re going to require of you is a quick brush of olive oil, a slather of the goat cheese, and toast them under the broiler for a few minutes. Easy as pie. And you’re going to want to eat these more than pie. Is anyone with me there? More times than not, I could easily choose bread over dessert.

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

I mean, come on with that toasted perfection!!

Additionally, we’re going to toss some toasted pecans (take three minutes to toast them – it makes a difference) and some dried cranberries on top. And mix it all in with a simple vinaigrette.

The dressing is a family favorite – my Aunt Amy’s recipe. And it is good for all sorts of salads and it is a terrific accompaniment to this beautiful thing. It’s a simple as could be with five ingredients that you almost certainly already have in your pantry and fridge!

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

But don’t forget about the toast. Oh yes, the toast. I wrote the recipe for four pieces of bread, but you might just want to double that part so you don’t eat them all straight from the pan. Definitely not speaking from personal experience – definitely not.

And if you’re gluten-free – simple substitution! Just make sure your baguette is GF certified!

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

This pecan cranberry salad with goat cheese toast – it’s calling your name!

Pecan Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 2 (easily doubled)
Ingredients
  • 9 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the toast
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 4 slices of baguette
  • Half of a head of romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • A handful of toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • A handful of dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing: Mix it all together.
  2. Make the toast: Preheat your broiler. Brush a small amount of olive oil on each baguette slice. Spread an ounce of goat cheese on top. Toast under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until very lightly browned or simply melted.
  3. Make the salad: Toss the lettuce lightly with as much dressing as you prefer (you will have some leftover - yay!) Sprinkle with the pecans and cranberries. Add the goat cheese toast on top and serve immediately.

 

Pecan and Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // www.mesacookingco.com

If you try this pecan cranberry salad with goat cheese toast, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!

© MESA COOKING CO. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images or content without prior permission.