This was supposed to be post #9 of 44 into this series of Healthy Eating on a Budget. Cauliflower was on today’s agenda. Unfortuantely, it wasn’t until after I made, photographed, devoured and sat down to write this post about Red Pepper and Cauliflower Bisque that I realized cauliflower is NOT on the list of affordable healthy food items under a $1 that I’ve been working from.
Can you hear me groaning from here? Planning fail. Well guess what! I’m going make a case for cauliflower anyway, because that list of 44 healthy foods is not the boss of me. More importantly though, this soup was too delicious to not share.
I typically buy cauliflower to make a very boring (yet very filling and very good for you) mix of steamed broccoli and cauliflower to have on hand as a fast, ready-to-go side for lunches or dinner. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable from the cabbage family and is praised for much of the usual benefits vegetables are commonly known for: cancer prevention, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and cardiovascular health. One interesting note about cauliflower is that it contains glucosinolates (broccoli does too), a natural detoxifier that helps eliminate carcinogens from body.
So while I’m usually steaming cauliflower and topping with a big old pat of butter, I bought this guy with the specific intention of making a cauliflower soup.
(I really thought cauliflower was on that list! The cost per serving is definitely under a $1!)
Cauliflower gives this red pepper bisque much of it’s volume, while also giving it a creamy texture without needing to use milk or cream. And of course, it brings those aforementioned nutritional benefits along with it too.
As an aside, bell peppers are on the dirty dozen list, but I don’t usually buy organic red peppers. <hangs head> Organic red bell peppers are very expensive, especially when they aren’t in season. But I love them and do buy them occasionally. The peppers I choose to buy are grown in a greenhouse that uses integrated pest management, making them more affordable than organic with fewer chemicals and pesticides than conventional. I’m OK with this compromise.
Red Pepper and Cauliflower Bisque
Yield: 6 (generous 1 cup) servings
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets and steamed
2 Tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, sliced
3 red peppers, sliced
1 c broth or water (reserve water from steamed cauliflower!)
salt to taste
Saute peppers, onions and garlic in butter or coconut oil. Once soft, add in steamed cauliflower and broth (or reserved water), transferring to blender or food processor (in batches if necessary), or pureeing with an immersion stick blender.
This soup was very simple and way more interesting than my usual steamed broccoli and cauliflower routine. It made a great lunch side yesterday with some leftover chicken breast, I will definitely be making this soup again!
The Cost Breakdown
The bell peppers in this recipe cost me $3 (total), the cauliflower cost $3.50. If we add in another $1 for the 2 Tbsp of butter, onion and garlic – I’d say the ingredients for this soup cost $7.50. For 6 servings, that $1.25 for a cup of soup.
While not the cheapest soup you could ever make, we could still call this “somewhat affordable” by comparing it to what you might pay for a cup of soup in a restaurant. Soup at place like Panera or a coffee shop could run you $3 to $5. This big pot of soup was a part dinner and of a couple lunches for both me and Zak, it was well worth $7.50 for the whole pot.
If you love red peppers and cauliflower, give this one a try!