Vegan Speed Leek And Cauliflower Soup And Nutty Chocolate Balls

August 15, 2010 by Keri

Before I get to that Speed Vegan recipe I’ve been promising you, I want to wish my mom a very Happy 44th Birthday!! Don’t freak out on me for posting your age, Mom.  You’re still young and beautiful!

I have have to admit, I was a little excited to open Speed Vegan this morning.  I can have a great time on a two hour recipe, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately.  Between the cooking and the blogging about cooking, I’ve been busy, busy, busy.  As I browsed the recipes, I was pleased to see they all had a short list of ingredients with simple instructions, perfect for those nights we get home later than expected or when I just don’t have enough mental energy to work through something complicated.  I marked a few recipes, and later settled on making Leek And Cauliflower Soup, Spicy Daikon Salad, and Nutty Chocolate Balls.

The Leek and Cauliflower soup (page 62) was so tasty.  It was exactly what we needed to recover from a few days of heavier foods, with just the right amount of curry and a smooth, creamy texture.  I could tell when I set the bowl of yellowish green soup in front of Chris he didn’t think he was going to like it, but judging by his return to the stove for a second bowl, he was wrong!  And since the publisher gave me permission to share the recipe, you can see how delicious this soup is for yourself.  Don’t be alarmed if yours turns out more yellow than green.  The picture in the book appeared quite yellow, but my leeks had a lot of green.  Also, I found myself cilantro-less, so you’ll notice it’s missing in mine.

Leek and Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 leeks (white and green parts), finely diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and finely diced
  • 7 cloves peeled garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout or Indian curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 quart water
  • 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Break the cauliflower into small florets, reserving the very smallest ones separately from the rest (about 1 cup).
Heat the oil in a large soup pot.  Add the leeks, potato, and cauliflower (except for the reserved cup of very small florets).  Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until vegetables begin to release their juices.  Add the garlic, ras el hanout, and salt.  Decrease the heat and cook and stir until the mixture is almost dry, about 3 minutes.  Add the water and bouillon cubes.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Decrease the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
While the soup is cooking, bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Add the peas and the reserved cup of cauliflower florets. Decrease the heat slightly and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain and reserve.
When the leeks, potato, and cauliflower are tender, remove from the heat.  Working in small batches, process the vegetables and their cooking liquid in the blender.  Return the blended mixture to the pot.  Stir in the reserved cauliflower and peas.
Warm the soup over medium-low heat.  Taste and add more salt, if needed.  Stir in the cilantro. Serve at once.

Speed Vegan‘s Spicy Daikon Salad (page 107) was a great side for our creamy soup.  It took about 10 minutes to prepare, shredding included, and was much like a slaw with a surprise spicy kick.  I love to incorporate daikon into dishes, but I’d have never thought of a slaw!  Plus, I’ve read daikon is a superfood, making it the perfect choice for our little recovery meal.  The cold carrot and daikon made for a cool, refreshing salad and the spice made the dish very satisfying.  The recipe called for black sesame seeds, which would have been more attractive, but I made do with the white ones I had on hand.

I love to see what a cookbook has to offer in the desserts department, and was especially curious what Speed Vegan would have for speedy desserts.  The Nutty Chocolate Balls (page 164) looked so simple that I couldn’t pass them up.  The recipe is only 4 ingredients!  These two-bite sized treats taste like little nut butter cups.  And they look so pretty on a plate, I would definitely put them out on a holiday or party dessert table.

I definitely recommend checking out Speed Vegan if you’re looking for delicious recipes to cut down on your kitchen time.  Even if you love to cook like I do, there’s always an occasion when you need something tasty in a pinch.  I think I want to make the Linguine With Sun-dried Tomato Sauce tomorrow night. Yum!

Do you make cookbook recipes as written or do you adapt them to your own tastes?

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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Michelle says:

    Looks fantastic! I tend to follow recipes pretty closely the first time and then modify after I’ve made it once and have a feel for the dish.

    I’ll have to check out that book.

    • Keri says:

      Thank you! 🙂 Yeah, I try to follow and I’ve gotten better about if, but sometimes if I’m just missing an ingredient I’ll still make the dish and sub what I have.