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In The Kitchen

Holiday Antidote: Cauliflower Soup with Lemon Zest


December 19, 2016

The alcohol that comes with the holiday season and the over-abundance of rich and decadent food means we’re constantly looking for an antidote: this cauliflower soup is perfect. It’s simple to make, with just onions, leeks, cauliflower, stock and lemon. No starch, no cream, and no butter, but you won’t miss them.

I often use chicken stock in my recipes, but the first time I made this soup was for a vegan friend—I found a ‘no chicken’ broth by Imagine to use instead (note:tomato-based veggie stock will disrupt the ivory color of the soup). It tasted better than the chicken stock, which was a little surprising to me. Pureeing is also key; my Vitamix converted the ingredients into a luscious and smooth concoction. Pureeing for a little longer and adding more olive oil helped improve the richness.

Soups are all about presentation. Serve it without edible accoutrements and it looks bland, but add a drizzle of grassy olive oil, a touch of lemon zest and some shallots and you have a soup that looks so pretty you can’t help but want to devour it. 


  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced
  • 1 cauliflower head, chopped
  • 1 liter of ‘no chicken’ broth such as Imagine
  • olive oil
  • shallots (to serve)
  • lemon vest (to serve)


Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a cast iron pan and heat. Add chopped onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add leeks and continue cooking until onions and leeks are soft (approx 10 minutes). Add more olive oil as needed.

While the onions and leeks are sautéing, chop the cauliflower into small pieces. Add to a pot filled with 1/2 liter of water. Cook cauliflower (approx 10 minutes). Once soft, drain the water from the pot. Add the onions and leeks to the pot. Add the stock and cook for 15 minutes.

Pour soup into a blender and puree for 30 seconds, until mixture is smooth. Add a squeeze of lemon and salt. If the soup is too thick add more stock or water.

Pour soup into bowls and top with olive oil, shallots and lemon zest.

This recipe was originally published on Dana James’s food blog. 


Looking for a soothing winter soup?  Here’s a tasty root vegetable version to warm you up on the coldest winter days.  


Learn more about triple board-certified nutritionist Dana James. Read client reviews, book appointments, and get expert advice from the experts in Charlotte’s Book. Only the best cosmetic doctors, skincare gurus, nutritionists, fitness and wellness professionals make it into our book.

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