Is it December already?! I feel like just yesterday I was planning our Thanksgiving menu and this week at the grocery I saw crates of rosy pomegranates and bags of fresh chestnuts which told me one thing, Christmas is near. This will be our first Christmas spent on the west coast and although I am often hit with pangs of homesickness for my family and friends down south I am thankful to share this special season with my Seattle family :) For the holiday we are traveling to Santa Barbara with Jordan's family and as the trip nears I'm starting to wrack my brain with ideas for festive yet healthy meals. Jordan and I have been put in charge of a couple of dinners for the whole family and while I don't want to overwhelm everyone with my almond flour and gluten free recipes I thought this hearty and seasonal soup would be a lovely addition to the Christmas feast.
In my experience cauliflower soups tend to be too bland or laden with heavy cream. This particular recipe is dairy free but just as thick and hearty as any other cream based soup. And I must admit this was my first time to ever roast chestnuts! Hello! Where have I been?! They are just delicious and after reading how easy they are to roast I thought they would add great texture and flavor to this soup.
So folks, I welcome this beautiful season with open arms! The tinsel is hung, nativity set out, and my collection of old school Amy Grant Christmas tunes are on repeat. And most of all I give thanks to God for sending His son Christ Jesus to us. May we remember amongst the gifts, traditions, and egg nog what this season truly is about.
Roasted Heirloom Cauliflower & Chestnut Soup
- 2 heads heirloom cauliflower (or regular cauliflower if you can't find heirloom)
- 3 large cloves of garlic, whole, skin removed
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 1 cup roasted chestnuts (about 20-23) If you don't have time to roast them you can buy them roasted at the grocery store
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 TBSP freshly chopped thyme
- 4-6 cups vegetable stock (This depends on how chunky you want the soup)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- thyme and pomegranate seeds for garnish
Preheat oven to 450F. To roast the chestnuts score an X across the top of each nut with a sharp knife. Make sure you cut through the skin. Place nuts on baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the skin of each nut is slightly peeled back and the nuts have turned a darker shade of brown.
While the nuts are roasting cut your cauliflower into chunks. Place cauliflower, whole(peeled) garlic, and sliced onion on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
When the chestnuts are done roasting turn oven down to 425F and place cauliflower, whole(peeled) garlic, and sliced onion in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. Stir veggies occasionally to prevent burning.
Once chestnuts are cool enough to handle peel off the outer skin to reveal the "meat". Set aside.
While the veggies are roasting bring the vegetable stock and bay leaves to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered. When the veggies are done pour them into the vegetable stock along with the roasted and peeled chestnuts, and chopped thyme. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
DON'T FORGET TO REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES! Either using a blender or emersion blender (this is way to go if you have one!) puree the soup until it is the desired consistancy.
Garnish with some fresh pomegranate seeds and a sprig of thyme. ENJOY!