Fall Food: Soup and Casserole

Warm. Comforting. Not necessarily healthful!

Chickpea and Leek Soup from The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver

chickpea and leek soup


* 12 oz chickpeas, soaked overnight in water, or a 15 oz. can, drained and rinsed
* 1 medium potato, peeled
* 6 leeks, finely, sliced
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* knob of butter
* 2 cloves of garlic, finely, sliced
* salt
* freshly ground pepper
* 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
* 2 handful parmesan cheese, grated
* extra virgin olive oil


1. Rinse the soaked chickpeas, cover with water, and cook with the potato until tender.
2. Remove the outer skin of the leeks, slice lengthways from the root up, wash carefully and slice finely.
3. Warm a thick-bottomed pan, and add the tablespoon of oil and the knob of butter. Add the leeks and garlic to the pan, and sweat gently with a good pinch of salt until tender and sweet.
4. Add the drained chickpeas and potato and cook for 1 minute. Add about two-thirds of the stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Purée half the soup in a food processor and leave the other half chunky this gives a lovely smooth comforting feel but also keeps a bit of texture.
6. Now add enough of the remaining stock to achieve the consistency you like. Check for seasoning, and add Parmesan to taste to round off the flavours.
7. This is classy enough for a starter, but I like it best for lunch in a big bowl with a good drizzle of my best peppery extra virgin olive oil, a grinding of black pepper and an extra sprinkling of Parmesan.
© Jamie Oliver 2002 http://www.jamieoliver.com

I only used 3 leeks (what I had at home) added chopped celery and pureed all of it, then topped with fried sage leaves.

Creamy Cauliflower Casserole with Bacon and Cheddar from Cook’s Country 10/2006

cauliflower casserole

Roughly chopped cauliflower acts as a casserole “filler,” much like rice or pasta, while the large florets add texture.

Serves 6 to 8
8 slices bacon , chopped, cooked until crisp, and cooled
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
table salt
2 heads cauliflower , trimmed and cut into 1-inch florets (about 8 cups)
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Mix bacon, 1/2 cup cheese, and parsley in small bowl. Set aside for topping.

2.Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and cauliflower and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse cauliflower with cold water. Transfer half of cauliflower to cutting board and roughly chop. (Topping and cauliflower may be refrigerated separately for up to 1 day.)

3. Melt cream cheese in now-empty pot over low heat. Stir in heavy cream and remaining 2 1/2 cups cheese and cook until cheese starts to melt, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in sour cream, cauliflower, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Transfer mixture to 2-quart baking dish, sprinkle with topping, and bake until browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve.

I didn’t have cream cheese but I had roasted cauliflower that hadn’t gone well and heavy cream about to expire, so I made a roux with a tablespoon of butter and flour apiece, added the cream and stirred till thick and added the cheese to that. Cream cheese would have been easier, but a trip to the store for only that? No way. I didn’t have three cups of cheddar either, so I added mozzarella and parmesan to get the right amount. This worked fine and used what I had on hand.

One Response to “Fall Food: Soup and Casserole”

  1. Steph Says:

    Both of these dishes look AMAZING, and I intend to try them both. I’ve been on a big soup making kick of late (in a partial bid to reduce our grocery bill, and it has been working), and I’m definitely going to give this one a shot!