Homey and comforting, this creamy soup contains no cream or dairy products of any kind--just vegetables, herbs and stock. Even without cream, it's still very rich, so plan to serve this as a small first course rather than a meal in itself.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
5 cups vegetable stock (you can use the green part of the leek, thyme stems and leftover garlic or onion skins to make a quick stock)
Preheat oven to 350. Toss 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the cauliflower and sea salt in a 9 x 13 inch pan and roast for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned in places and tender.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet. Add the leeks and saute, stirring frequently, for 10-20 minutes, until wilted and starting to color. Remove from heat.
When cauliflower is done, combine cauliflower, leeks, thyme and stock in the blender and puree until very smooth. Pass through a food mill to remove any twiggy bits of thyme and get the texture ultra-silky.