Cauliflower Bisque with Crispy Beluga Lentils, Pistachio Oil and Chives

Cauliflower, the once under-appreciated white-afro’ed veggie, is now found in almost any market nationwide. Roasted whole, raw, riced, or mashed, cauliflower has evolved from its dry and overcooked kitchen days. In this week’s recipe, we are shape-shifting our cauliflower into a creamy bisque. Crispy black lentils with a drizzle of pistachio oil add texture and contrast to this silky-smooth soup.

Complimenting accouterments include coconut milk and delicate leeks for a one-way ticket to Cloud 9 — pure blissful tastiness! Pair with leafy greens, a chunk of baguette, and a chilled glass of rosé for a great late-night summer dinner.

Cauliflower Bisque with Crispy Beluga Lentils, Pistachio Oil and Chives

Preheat the oven to 400˚

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked lentils with the spices and stir well. Bake for 14 minutes, stir, then roast for another 10-14 minutes until the lentils are crispy. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large skillet, add the olive oil and leeks. Cover and sauté over medium-low heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potato and garlic and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. add the chopped cauliflower and salt, cover and cook for another 7-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. 

Place the vegetables in a high-speed blender. Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, and raw cashews and purée until smooth, adding more broth if necessary to make a creamy soup.

Fore serving – Pour the soup into a medium saucepan and reheat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with a spoonful of crispy lentils and a drizzle of pistachio oil and some chopped chives.

*To cook lentils – Pour ½ cup of black uncooked lentils in a mesh strainer and sift through for any small rocks. Rinse with cold water, then place in a pot and cover with water by about 2″. Turn heat to high. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes until just tender, stirring occasionally.  Rinse well with cold water after cooking and drain.

serves 4 - 6

CRISPY LENTILS*

  • 1 cup cooked black lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fenugreek powder
  • ½ tsp Aleppo chiles

CAULIFLOWER BISQUE

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red potato, peeled and chopped 
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped, about 4-5 cups
  • 1 tsp Maldon salt
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • salt and pepper to taste

GARNISH

  • pistachio oil
  • chopped chives