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Soul Satisfying Roasted Cauliflower, Leek & Garlic Soup and Lemon Fritters

Lemon Fritters

I seriously feel like starting this post with "oh what a week…!" to the tune of "oh what a night.." At least, just listening to it makes my feet move under my chair. That’s a good thing. I am allowing myself to make room for a giggle and a laugh. It’s been such a week for friends and family, near and far. And us trying to navigate the waves and splashes.

Today my heart is a complete split of heavy and light. I guess I could spend the next couple of paragraphs telling you why. But honestly, I am tired of those funky vibes I have experienced all week. Mine included. These two posts will update you on why I have been quiet and reflective lately. And why today I still can’t put the broken pieces of heart back together. I’ve done my kicking and screaming, even if only in my head but I have also welcome every opportunity to change my mind today. That much funk always drives me up the wall. Or to the kitchen actually!

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

I cooked a lot over the last few days. Always therapeutic. I’ve made a bunch of good for the soul comforting foods. I also made some pretty aromatic dishes to soothe my bronchitis. I packed a few containers full of good and healthy recipes for Bill while I am gone this week. Stirring soup very effectively took my mind away on vacation for a few minutes. Zesting and juicing lemons filled the space with invigorating energy.

Whisking batters, roasting vegetables, hearing the motor of the food processor happily whirl away. Listening to the sizzle of the oil when my friend Laura and I made lemon fritters one night she came over for dinner. It never gets easier, it just gets different. One thing for sure is that friends and keeping busy are always great ingredients to make things better.

Lemon Fritters

I hate that work is taking me away this week and I won’t be home with the husband and the pups for a good ten days. I also love that my kind of work gives me the chance to do something a bit different than my usual week. See, I am leaving in the morning and heading out to Seattle for a shoot. My friend Clare Barboza is shooting Jeanne Sauvage’s (from The Art Of Gluten Free Baking) first cookbook on gluten free holiday baking and she asked me to come do the styling. As I told them both earlier, I am very much looking forward to rest my photographer’s eyes and put my styling goggles on for a week!

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

I love Clare and her photography, I love Jeanne’s recipes (and I get to meet her chickens!), the publisher (Chronicles) and it’s Seattle! My last visit was a bit short there so I am looking forward to a longer stay and some fun happenings! Our shooting and baking/prep schedule is packed (just as my suitcase!) but you can bet I’ll do my best to find time for a little fun!

I hate to leave Bill with the pups, that’s a given, but I hate to leave him without something comforting to eat, especially the first night I am gone. When I made a Roasted Cauliflower, Leek and Garlic Soup the other day, he asked that I made another batch to store away while he’d be alone with his books. I am kinda sad I can’t sneak a cup on the plane with me. It’s really good. Don’t let its creamy grey color fool you…there is nothing bland or blah about this soup. Creamy, toasty, garlicky. Silky.

Lemon Fritters

When I wasn’t feeling good this past weekend, I texted Laura that I had absolutely no appetite. She texted me back a very worried "really? nothing?" I know.…worried me too actually. I am never one without an appetite, even sick. I paused for a second and thought "actually…lemon fritters sound really really good right now!". We rarely do fried anything but that fried little pieces of dough were always in my grandmother’s arsenal remedy when we were sick. It worked back then. And it worked again this time!

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

Good friends, good food, good drinks and tons of good laughs sure made me feel better on all front this past week. I wish mending the world troubles would be as easy as writing a prescription for each but that’s always a start…

Roasted Cauliflower, Leek and Garlic Soup:

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer, 4 as an main dish

1 small head of cauliflower
1 whole head garlic
2 leeks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 to 1 cup water, or veggie or chicken stock

Preheat oven to 375F (convection) and position a rack in the middle.
Trim the outer leaves from the cauliflower head. Cut in quarters, remove the core, and cut the cauliflower into medium size florets. Place on a large baking sheet.
Cut the garlic head in half, place on the baking sheet with the cauliflower.
Trim the white part from the green stalk of the leeks. Keep the white part and cut into medium sized chunks. Wash well under water and place also on the baking sheet.
Drizzle with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-25 minutes.
Let cool slightly. Place in a food processor, start running the machine and add enough water to have a creamy soup. Re-season if necessary with salt and pepper. Serve.


Lemon Fritters:
Make about 20 to 30 small fritters

1 -2 cups canola oil
1 cup sugar
zest and juice of one lemon
2 eggs
1 cup millet flour
1 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk

Heat oil in medium large cast iron pan until temperature reaches 375F.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, juice and eggs until well blended. Add the millet, rice flour and baking powder, along with the milk. Mix well until the mixture is smooth. Drop by large spoonfuls into the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan or it will lower the heat too much and you will end up with soggy fritters. Let cook for 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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la domestique August 18, 2011 um 7:08 am

The lemon fritters look delicious! I've been a bit off the past week as well…like you I'm trying to just get back to myself and not dwell too much on things. Take care!

Natashia August 18, 2011 um 7:42 am

It all looks so yum!! Especially those fritters. Your photos are just beautiful 🙂

Jessica – The Novice Chef August 18, 2011 um 7:59 am

Ohhh Helene! That Roasted Cauliflower, Leek & Garlic soup sounds amazing. I have a big head of cauliflower and I was debating what to do with it…but not anymore!

Jessica – The Novice Chef August 18, 2011 um 7:59 am

Ohhh Helene! That Roasted Cauliflower, Leek & Garlic soup sounds amazing. I have a big head of cauliflower and I was debating what to do with it…but not anymore!

Steph (desserts for breakfast) August 18, 2011 um 8:17 am

Helene– such heartfelt posts lately: I love it! that you can share such sincere thoughts and feelings on the blog. Makes me wish I were open enough to say important things instead of rambling on about random food descriptions. 🙂

london bakes August 18, 2011 um 8:25 am

There is something so magical about the power of food to comfort and restore us. The lemon fritters look wonderful and I can't wait to try the soup. I hope you have a wonderful time in Seattle.

notyet100 August 18, 2011 um 9:54 am

Soup looks so delicious,..ur right cooking with friends makes cooking more fun

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 18, 2011 um 11:19 am

I am so sorry that you're going through a hard time right now. My healing energy, good vibes and (((HUGS))) are with you from afar.

The food looks wonderful! And I am glad it soothes your soul a bit to spend time cooking.

Sally August 18, 2011 um 1:03 pm

Helene, Thank you for this thoughtful post. This is not an easy time in the world, and though food blogs tend to emphasize the upswings, I think it is much more realistic (and honest) to note that we all have downswings too, for so many different reasons. I always want summer to be a happy, carefree time, but inevitably life and events intervene and there it is: that wheel that keeps turning. It is a mixed bag, n'est-ce pas? The one thing we can count on is to make comforting food (and your lovely pictures surely cheer and inspire us, your readers.)

I admire your forging ahead, making soup for your husband while you travel. I often find that when I come home from a solo trip NOTHING in my refrigerator has moved 🙂 I met Jeanne earlier this summer–I know a visit with her and some work will lift your spirits. Please say hello from me. Bon voyage!

Erica August 18, 2011 um 2:11 pm

Seriously, I think I just had a physical reaction to these photos. It was a good thing ; )

Elle at Eat Boutique August 18, 2011 um 2:16 pm

These photos are gorgeous. I'm so craving a Lemon Fritter now! I wish there were Lemonade Fritter stands conveniently on my corner.

argone August 18, 2011 um 2:34 pm

tu as de la chance d'avoir un mari qui te fait des compliments … le plus souvent chez moi rien du tout c'est décourageant.

SkinnyMommy August 18, 2011 um 3:59 pm

Your pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing your beautiful blog.


elann August 18, 2011 um 5:14 pm

Words escape me …. (((hugs)))
PS Your brother's photos are gorgeous

jacqui August 18, 2011 um 7:03 pm

This soup looks so creamy and velvety smooth. I want a large bowl of it now, thanks for sharing. Hope you feel better soon. And enjoy your stay here in Seattle next week!

Kiran @ August 18, 2011 um 8:10 pm

That lemon fritters looks divine Helene! Gotta use up some lemons and I am off to make this fritters 🙂

Unknown August 18, 2011 um 9:20 pm

Just love that fourth image – so moody and reflective. I also love Seattle so I hope you have a really good time there. It will be nice to get into some cool air – I would love that in this hot sticky Texas…

Pétra August 18, 2011 um 9:32 pm

My Mother (Heléne) passed away 10 years ago in October and it's always such a difficult time. She was too young and we were so close. I hope you are feeling better soon and I appreciate your posts so much! I also always have room for dessert and am so excited to try your fritters!!

Nic@diningwithastud August 18, 2011 um 10:53 pm

Its a freezing cold morning here in Sydney today and this soup is perfect for it! I've got all the ingredients at home so will make it for my dinner 🙂 thank you!

Rivki Locker August 19, 2011 um 12:16 am

What a beautiful post. I'm glad your time in the kitchen helped some. Cooking is therapy like that for me, too. Those fritters do look like just the thing to chase away any sadness.

Laura V August 19, 2011 um 2:14 am

Both Bailey and I agree that the fritters were delicious! Glad I could be a part of their creation (and consumption). And I'm sending a link to this post to my family so they can see 🙂

Have a wonderful time in Seattle and I look forward to catching up when you return!

Amanda August 19, 2011 um 5:12 am

i can never get sick of ur pretty photos!

Valérie ( Franche-Comté ) August 19, 2011 um 7:48 am

I hope you are fit.
The kitchen with a lot of things, and I note that you will put all your heart
I wish you a beautiful day

Cristina | Positively Beauty August 19, 2011 um 10:05 am

I must try this soup, thanks for the recipe! All photos are lovely, as usual 🙂

Dmarie August 19, 2011 um 3:48 pm

looks simple…simply delicious!

Banana Wonder August 19, 2011 um 4:40 pm

MMmm what a combination! I need to make both stat.

Anonymous August 19, 2011 um 4:51 pm

Beautiful pictures. I especially love the one of the fritters wrapped in paper. Is that just regular newspaper? Or was it a special culinary purchase? I need to get my hands on some!

Anonymous August 20, 2011 um 5:49 am

Every picture you take makes me a little jealous… I'm going to make the macaroons from your website tomorrow (my first time)!! 🙂

Ha August 20, 2011 um 7:52 am

Are you writing this post for me? I can relate to almost all thing you mentioned here. I would have felt sad/guilty if I went away leaving hubby and a 19months girl in my case no food. I was craving for donut 3 days ago. Havent had a chance to make it then I felt really sick couldn'd move, in bed since Thursday. Yout post made me smile. Your photos cheered me up. Thank you for that!

Anonymous August 20, 2011 um 10:34 am

Your pictures are always sooo gorgeous… i love the 5th picture!! And i also like the way you presented them in the newspaper.

oneordinaryday August 20, 2011 um 1:38 pm

We call them "comfort foods" for a reason. Wishing your heart some comfort.

Sweet Hampers August 20, 2011 um 4:20 pm

Desserts are made for the people who are not satisfied in what they eat. It is one of my favorite dish. Desserts can be an ice cream, cakes, chocolates, or any sweets. The only thing that is important is you enjoy eating.

pips August 20, 2011 um 4:55 pm

The best ever, Helene. Oh, yes. Definitely.

kyleen August 21, 2011 um 3:15 am

Beautiful pictures, I cannot stress that enough!

marla August 21, 2011 um 2:19 pm

Sorry to read you were not well. Your styling trip to Seattle sounds like a welcomed change of pace. Can't wait to read more about the book & see the photos. Fritters have got to be the best solution to life's troubles 🙂

Nieves August 21, 2011 um 8:45 pm

I read your book Plate to pixel! It's amazing thank you very much fro sharing your ¨savoir faire¨.
Cauliflower and garlic… I don't know, is it good? … but the lemon fritters, yumie!!!
Les photos sont, comme d'hab, magnifique!

Anabel August 22, 2011 um 12:25 am

After reading this, I immediately had to try… the soup was perfect! Huge success. The fritters flopped… greasy mess! In fact, I tried again today and they still don't look like yours… but like pancakes. Any suggestions? Thanks!

kickpleat August 22, 2011 um 1:34 am

Those fritters look so lovely, however it's the soup that really catches my eye! We've been receiving a lot of cauliflower in our CSA so I'll be saving some for this & for cooler days ahead.

Helene August 22, 2011 um 7:32 am

Anabel: make sure the baking powder is still working properly.
Keep the temperature of the oil at a steady 350F and there is no greasy mess.

Anonymous August 22, 2011 um 8:27 pm

Excellent pics and beautifully seen posts.

Jennifer@countingfireflies August 22, 2011 um 9:07 pm

I saw the beautiful fritters, and I thought, OH how I wish I could have something that yummy. I wonder if I could adapt the recipe to be gluten free? Then I looked at the recipe and was SO delighted and amazed to see that it was already!! Hurray! Can't wait to make these.

Courtney@ Translating Nutrition August 23, 2011 um 9:19 am

After reading about this soup, I had to make it, and promptly did so. It was delicious, and received rave reviews. I wrote a little note about it and included a link on my blog as well.

Anonymous August 23, 2011 um 2:30 pm

sounds delicious, i love a hearty soup 🙂

Linda @ Pink Elephants August 23, 2011 um 9:19 pm


Anonymous August 24, 2011 um 9:39 am

The lemon fritters look so yummy!

Cookin' Canuck August 25, 2011 um 3:42 am

What a heartfelt, reflective post, Helene. I'm thinking of you as you are thinking of Thierry and writing your letter to him.

Restaurant Food Delivery August 25, 2011 um 6:29 am

So so so mouth watering! and the fritters of course so lovely.

I also like your series of photos so vibrant.

sasha August 25, 2011 um 10:37 pm

you always have a way to my heart. it lifted my spirits up. now, i'm going to go look for my mama's comfort food. just one of those days….

A Mother's Thoughts August 26, 2011 um 11:09 pm

These recipes look great. I can't wait to try out the calliflower soup. I hope things get easier in your life. Safe travels!


Anonymous August 28, 2011 um 11:37 am

Everything looks so tasty ! My favourite meal is the lemon fritters, they look so sweet ! 🙂

sweetlifeinthevalley August 29, 2011 um 6:07 am

Hello friend, This looks delicious. It was great to meet you and attend your class at EVO.

kita August 30, 2011 um 2:13 am

My god, its summer still and I am salivating over that beautiful soup. I have just recently fallen back in love with cauliflower and I have seen this and one other recipe for a soup version. I can not wait to try it out in my own kitchen. Stunning job.

nita September 1, 2011 um 6:08 am

I made the soup, and loved the taste, but mine was kind of lumpy, resembled more the consistency of your roasted vegetable soup with polenta croutons, definitively not smooth and silky as this one looks? Any suggestions how to get that amazing smoothness?
also thanks for your yesterday's blog, it was inspiring and cute at the same time.

Helene September 1, 2011 um 6:19 am

Nita: a powerful blender with a good blade or/and straining the soup through a fine mesh stainer.

Shawn September 18, 2011 um 11:14 pm

I just randomly came across your blog and am so glad I did. Your photos and blog are SO inspiring!!! Just what I needed to help get me back to creating. Beautifully done.

Jackie S. October 3, 2011 um 6:05 pm

Hello – your soup looks beautiful but when I made it last night it came out chunky. I have an industrial food processor that I used but it was still lumpy. Any recommendations on what blade to use?
the soup still tasted great 🙂

Helene October 5, 2011 um 10:00 pm

Jackie: no idea. I have a regular food processor and the soup came out smooth. Might need to run it a bit longer and sieve it if you really want it smooth.

Harriet February 26, 2012 um 1:56 am

I tried this soup tonight and it had the texture of Cream of Wheat, and that was after a lot of processing, sieving, and re-heating. The cauliflower was not soft after 25 minutes at 375. Next time, I would cook on top the stove until very soft. With only 1 cup of chicken stock, it would have been pretty stiff, so I had to add a good bit more. Is a whole head of garlic accurate? I only used a couple of cloves and that was almost too much.

Helene February 26, 2012 um 2:43 am

Harriet: lots of things in cooking depend on the situation and a canvas for you to adjust depending on your liking. We like our soup very garlicky but that is not the taste of everyone so you were correct to adjust to your own liking.
Depending on what I consider a small head of cauliflower and you consider it to be small, the roasting time may vary by 10-15 minutes.
Depending on the kind of blender we both use, the grain of blending may greatly differ from super smooth to well, less smooth or grainier.
For the amount of veggies I used, I only needed to add 1 cup of water to make it to the consistency that we like. It may depends for you so you did right by adding more if you enjoy soups less on the thick side.
Hope this addresses all your comments.

Amritha Alladi January 4, 2014 um 2:17 am

Thanks for sharing the cauliflower soup recipe. I tried it out and loved it! Mine did turn out a little granier, but it still tasted good. I love that the recipe is so healthy since it doesn't use cream or milk. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown November 22, 2015 um 4:44 am


I'm hoping to make this for my vegan friend for Thanksgiving, and I was wondering… Do you cut the head of garlic in half horizontally, or do you cut from the to of the head down? How do you peel the garlic after roasting?

Thank you!

Helene November 22, 2015 um 10:27 pm

Stephanie: good point… I cut in half horizontally. To remove the peel, just squeeze the garlic out of its skin. It's a bit messy but so good. Sometimes, I get lazy and puree the garlic cloves skin on. They are cooked and soft at that point and just blend in with the rest (if you have a strong food processor, it's perfect.)

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