Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Smoky cauliflower and tofu bacon soup

The weather has been cold enough for weeks yet it's taken me this long to get back into the swing of making soup. There have been heaps of leftovers from dinners recently to satisfy our lunch requirements so there hasn't been any need to cook up a batch of soup, until now.

I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge and looked up a recipe I posted last year for a creamy cauliflower and tofu bacon soup which was delicious. After scanning the ingredient list I wanted to make a few changes so it ended up being a slightly different version. Last time I used some Tofutti better than cream cheese and in hindsight didn't think it was really necessary as blended cauliflower is very creamy on it's own. For this version, I ditched the Tofutti, increased the quantity of nutritional yeast flakes and added some red lentils and smoked paprika. Smoked paprika was something I mentioned in my previous post as being a potential addition so I took my own advice on board!

When I was seasoning the soup at the end, I remembered Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe had used leftover tofu bacon marinade in a pumpkin soup she had made. Unfortunately I recalled this after adding some salt and only used a little as a final touch. Never mind, the rest of that marinade went into some refried beans on another night which gave them a lovely flavour.

Which soup did we like the best? Well, it's difficult to say as this one is fresh in my mind and the others don't have the best memories when it comes to food. This soup seemed just as creamy and the smokiness from the paprika, marinade and tofu bacon melded together wonderfully. I prefer these ingredients over the previous version which means it's the winner for me.

Smoky cauliflower and tofu bacon soup (Adapted from my other recipe)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small onions, diced or 2 leeks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red lentils
5 cups vegetable stock
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon left-over tofu bacon marinade (optional, or bump up the quantity of smoked paprika)
8 slices precooked tofu bacon, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped roughly, for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot and saute the onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute then mix through the lentils. Pour in the vegetable stock and add the cauliflower florets. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes until the cauliflower florets and lentils are tender.

Transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and process in batches until very smooth, alternatively use a stick blender to process the soup in the pot. Return the blended soup to the cooking pot and stir in the nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, salt, marinade and 6 slices of chopped tofu bacon. Reheat on a low temperature and season with additional salt (if required) and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the remaining 2 slices of chopped tofu bacon in the microwave for 30 seconds. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with tofu bacon, parsley and freshly ground black pepper.


  1. This looks like a great twist on cauliflower soup - I really like the idea of using paprika, and of course the tofu bacon would lift it from 'average' to 'exciting' even if nothing else did. I'm pleased to see you're still putting this form of tofu to good use!

    1. Thanks Kari! Cauliflower soup is one of my singular vegetable soups and I really seem to enjoy smoked paprika in a lot of things.

  2. I much prefer smoky to creamy so I know which soup I would prefer - and glad you remembered to use up the tofu bacon marinade - I haven't made tofu bacon for quite some times - though the flavours are still in my cooking - so I must do this soon - esp as I love soups at this time of year - made split pea soup last week and thought some tofu bacon on it would be lovely

    1. I wish I had remembered it earlier in the process so I could have used more! I still make calzones regularly and always make tofu bacon for them so there is always a bit of tofu bacon leftover to put into other things. It would be wonderful in split pea soup which is another favourite soup of mine, I'll have to try that.

  3. This soup looks perfect for a cold day! I bet the lentils added another layer of creaminess to it--mmm!

    1. It's horrible and cold over here now so perfect soup weather! I love adding lentils for some extra protein as well as the creaminess, it's becoming almost mandatory in my soups.