Today is 11/9. It’s been emotionally and physically painful.
After a rough and sleep deprived night I was shaken from a groggy daze around 6 am by a man screaming and yelling from a house up the hill. Things escalated and the voice of a police officer repeated “Santa Barbara Police, come out with your hands up” followed by a series of loud bangs. Between that terrifying drama and the election results, I have no hope for today. Just as Hillary was giving her devastating concession speech and apologizing to young girls everywhere, my mouth was getting mercilessly poked, prodded and drilled by the dentist for an hour and a half. Half of my face is paralyzed, the pain in my mouth and my heart prevents me from speaking and it’s not even noon yet. This day is doomed.
So, I’m done with this day. I am going to focus on healing and nourishing my body the only way I know how, with comfort food. This Roasted Potato Leek Cauliflower & Kale Soup is adapted from the tried & true Roasted Potato Leek Soup recipe by super talent and all around model citizen, Ina Garten. It’s easy to make, full of comforting, roasted ingredients and flavors that soothe you like a warm blanket on a cold, dark night. I’ve adapted her recipe quite a bit and transformed it into Roasted Potato Leek Cauliflower & Kale Soup by incorporating roasted cauliflower, using kale in place of arugula, topping the soup with fresh herby green onions (instead of Ina’s crispy shallots) and a sprinkling of crispy and salty fried pancetta cubes to round out the earthy flavors.
If you make my version of Roasted Potato Leek Cauliflower & Kale Soup or go with Ina’s classic recipe, I declare you a winner either way. No matter what your views, I think we can all use a little love and comfort this week. So, let’s start with a warm and hearty bowl of this Roasted Potato Leek Cauliflower & Kale Soup and then we’ll get to work.
- Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks - 1 pound
- cauliflower - 1 pound
- leeks, about 4, white & light green parts, chopped and cleaned
- olive oil - 1/4 cup
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- kale, lightly packed - 3 cups
- dry white wine, plus extra for serving -1/2 cup
- chicken stock - 6 to 7 cups
- heavy cream - 3/4 cup
- crème fraîche - 1/2 cup, plus more for topping
- pancetta cubed- 1 cup, fried & crispy
- green onions, chopped - to garnish
- fresh cracked pepper - to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine the potatoes, leeks and cauliflower on 1-2 baking sheets.
- Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, turning them over a few times, until they are tender.
- Add the kale and toss to combine with vegetables. Roast for 8-10 more minutes, until the kale begins to wilt.
- Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the wine and 1 cup of the chicken stock, scraping up any crispy roasted bits sticking to the pan.
- In batches, transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor fitted with the steel blade, adding the pan liquid and a few cups of the chicken stock to make a puree. (Or if you are using an immersion blender, add the veggies, wine and stock to a large pot and blend until puréed and smooth.)
- Pour the puree into a large pot or Dutch oven and continue to puree the vegetables in batches until they're all smooth and combined in the large pot. Add the remaining chicken stock to make a thick soup. Add the cream, 1/2 cup of crème fraîche, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper, seasoning to taste.
- Simmer for at least 20 minutes to meld the flavors together.
- To serve, whisk in 2 tablespoons white wine. Top bowls with a drizzle of crème fraîche, crispy pancetta, chopped green onions and fresh ground pepper.
- Roasted Potato Leek Cauliflower & Kale Soup soothes like a warm blanket on a cold night; with hearty veggies in a velvety broth, rich crème fraîche, crispy, salty pancetta & herby green onions.