This Week's Seasonal Batch Recipe 'Cauliflower Vichyssoise'

Photo by Katherine Tallmadge
Cauliflower Vichyssoise (excerpted from "Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season!"
Cauliflower Vichyssoise (excerpted from "Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season!"

My second weekly batch recipe, based on what you can find at your Farmers Market this weekend is Cauliflower Vichyssoise. It is a take on the French Classic Vichyssoise - leak and potato soup - substituting most of the potatoes for cauliflower. Even though Vichyssoise is usally served cold, in the winter I serve my Cauliflower Vichyssoise warm.

Batches are all about making the most of the time you spend in the kitchen and easing some stress from your life. I feature batch recipes in my books, Diet Simple and Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes. Batches are your favorite delicious, quick and easy meals made ahead of time so that you always have something in the freezer or refrigerator, ready to eat on a moment’s notice. And, believe it or not, it actually saves time. 

Blending the cooked cauliflower, leaks, and potatoes with the Cuisinart Smart Stick (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge) Blending the cooked cauliflower, leaks, and potatoes with the Cuisinart Smart Stick

Soups are some of the best "batches" in the cold dark days of winter. They're warm, filling, psychologically satisfying and sate the natural urge for comfort food in the winter. Eating soup also makes it easier to lose weight. How?

Classic studies have found that soups are effective weight loss foods. As long as the volume of a food is high (when water or air are incorporated into the food), people can feel full with fewer calories. In one study, researchers varied the water content in three different first courses to see how it would affect peoples’ intake at the main course. The study subjects were fed either 1) chicken rice casserole, 2) chicken rice casserole served with a glass of water, or 3) chicken rice soup – basically the casserole with water/broth added. The researchers found the subjects who ate the soup consumed 26 percent less, about 100 calories fewer, at the main course, compared to the other conditions, even though all three conditions provided the same amount of calories. As I always say, "A calorie isn't always a calorie!"

Researchers surmise that a large food volume caused by water, even without added calories, helps us feel more satisfied for several reasons. It causes stomach stretching and slows stomach emptying, stimulating the nerves and hormones that signal feelings of fullness. Also, visually seeing a large volume of food can increase your ability to feel satisfied by it, even though the calories are relatively low. Finally, the larger a meal and the longer a meal goes on, studies show, your satisfaction declines and you lose interest in completing it. Water is the component in food which has the largest influence on how much you eat. This study, and many others like it, find eating a high-water-content, low-calorie first course, such as soup, enhances satisfaction and reduces overall calorie intake.

Cauliflower "Vichyssoise"
excerpted from Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season

Cauliflower is in the species of foods called “brassica.” The brassica family of foods has extremely high nutritional values and contain high levels of antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamin C, selenium, calcium, potassium, folic acid and choline - important for the brain, as well as soluble fiber, which reduces cholesterol and helps level blood sugar. Brassica, a huge category of foods including broccoli, cabbages, mustard seeds and greens, also contain potent anti-cancer compounds which help detoxify carcinogens in the liver before they continue to circulate in your bloodstream. These compounds also aid your immune response with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

4 to 8 Servings


1 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 Leeks
1 Head Cauliflower
1 Medium Potato
6 Cups Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock), fat removed
1 Cup 1% Milk
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
8 leaves Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Slice the white part of the leeks, cut the cauliflower into florets and set aside. Heat canola oil in an iron skillet over medium heat. Add sliced leeks, stirring frequently for about ten minutes until soft. Stir in the stock, cauliflower and potato. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about twenty minutes or until vegetables are soft. When mixture has cooled a bit, puree with the  The Cuisinart Smart Stick... No mess, no fuss! (or blender or food processor), add the milk. Serve hot in the cool weather, cold in the hot weather. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley.

700 calories in the entire pot of soup