1cupchopped green onions, white and light green part; scallions (green tops) reserved for garnish
1cupchopped leeks(2 large), white part only, rinsed and drained
1largeyukon gold potato(about 1 1/2 cups) peeled and cubed
1/4cupgrated Romano cheese
1/4teaspoonred pepper flakes
2tablespoonsheavy cream, optional
1/2teaspoonfreshly ground pepper
Heat oven to 400°F. Cut top third of the garlic bulb off so that the majority of the cloves are exposed. Place the garlic in a small oven proof dish, exposed cloves facing up. Pour approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil over garlic bulb, and roast at for 30 minutes or until garlic is soft.
Arrange sliced cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet, brush with additional olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and 1 teaspoon lemon pepper. Roast in the oven with the garlic for 20 to 30 minutes (stir midway through) until cauliflower is lightly browned and fork-tender. Remove cauliflower and garlic from oven and set garlic aside to cool. (NOTE: Place garlic on a separate oven rack underneath if there isn't room for both to be on the same rack.)
While the garlic and cauliflower are roasting, cook leeks with a little olive oil over med heat until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add green onions, potato, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup of the stock to the pan with the leeks; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender.
Reserve a few pices of the cauliflower for garnishing soup, if desired, and add the remaining cauliflower to the soup with the potatoes, breaking up any large pieces. Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes over the cauliflower. Squeeze the garlic bulb from the bottom to remove garlic cloves, coarsely chop the garlic, and stir in to the soup with the Romano cheese. (Reserve roasted garlic oil for garnish, if desired.)
Pour enough of the remaining broth over the vegetables to cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are all cooked through. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, then incorporate back into the soup.
Stir in cream and freshly cracked pepper, continue to heat on low for 2 minutes to meld flavors. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper, as desired. Soup can be thinned by adding more stock.
Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with roasted cauliflower florets, scallions, and drizzle with reserved roasted garlic olive oil.
Yields about 6 cups
Save leek dark green leaves for homemade stock.
Make it dairy-free and vegan by substituting oat milk or coconut cream for the heavy cream or simply omit the cream and puree a little more of the soup; substitute white miso for the Romano cheese to keep the umami flavor going
Substitute sweet yellow onion for the leeks and green onion if you like a stronger onion flavor.
Substitute celery root (celeriac) or parsnips for the potato to reduce carbs.
Substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth if that's what you have on-hand.
Customize garnishes with cheddar cheese and ham or bacon for all the loaded baked potato flavors.