One of the nutrition myths I hate the most is, “all white foods are bad”. While yes, marshmallow fluff, canned vanilla frosting, and solidified bacon lard are not the most healthy white colored foods to consume on the regular, no one is trying to pretend they are! Yet many people shake their finger at white foods from the grain and vegetable groups, declaring that they are void of nutrition.
Grains and starchy vegetables are undoubtedly higher in fiber and nutrients when kept in their unprocessed form, resulting in a more “brown” appearance, but that doesn’t mean the whiter cousin CAN’T have a place in a healthy diet from time to time. Furthermore, there are MANY vegetables that are naturally white and LOADED with health promoting nutrients- parsnips, cauliflower, turnips, onions, sunchokes, and garlic to name a few.
So, for my meal prep this week I wanted to bust this myth by making an easy all-white soup that is the perfect warm answer to these dropping temperatures. I used the sheet pan method to roast cauliflower, which is a cruciferous vegetable containing high levels of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C; some Yukon gold potatoes that provide potassium (more than a banana!) for blood pressure balance; and the white ends and very little of the green parts of leeks, which are full of B vitamins and flavonoids that help keep inflammation at bay.
With the holiday busyness and stress, this soup has all the things to help keep your system in top defense mode and is a perfect way to fill your growling stomach with deliciousness. I hope you enjoy!
1/2 large cauliflower head, cut into florets (about 3 cups)
3 medium leeks, whites and very little green sliced
3 small Yukon potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt
Parmesan cheese and parsley, for topping
Preheat oven to 400 degress. Place the cauliflower florets, sliced leeks, and cubed potatoes on a lined baking sheet. The potatoes should be cut into small, equal cubes so that they cook faster. Drizzle olive oil over all vegetables, toss to coat, and slide tray into oven. Roast for 20-25 minutes until able to pierce potatoes with a fork.
Add roasted mixture in a large soup pot or dutch oven set over medium heat. Cover with stock, add black pepper, rosemary, and salt. If vegetables are not fully covered with liquid, add in just enough water or additional stock to do so. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes to further soften vegetables.
Once fully cooked, use an immersion blender to puree contents into a smooth soup. Alternatively, place mixture in a blender and blend carefully. Give the soup a taste and adjust salt, pepper, and rosemary as needed. Blend again, then serve. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan, more cracked pepper, and parsley.