My cheesy cauliflower and white bean soup is a delicious way of creating a twist on the classic combination of cauliflower cheese in the form of a healthy versatile bean soup. Low in fat but packed with essential protein this makes a great, quick healthy lunchtime staple.
Wow, February where did you come from?
Well, with vegan January now past, I thought I’d share with you some thoughts on that below but first of all let’s talk about this cheesy cauliflower and white bean soup.
Are you ever on a grocery shop with your shopping list and you just can’t seem to get all the things you want, for the recipes that you’ve already planned out for the week ahead? Sound familiar?
So, there I was, list in hand, frantically hunting down a can of butter beans for a soup recipe I wanted to do, only the find there weren’t any. Only white kidney beans were available.
Then, on the same grocery shop, I wanted broccoli. I had an idea in my head for a broccoli and cauliflower cheese bake. But guess what. Yep, no broccoli!
Then there was the cheese. I’d already added the low fat cream cheese for the bake to my basket.
In need of doing my weekend meal cooking for the week ahead What was I to do?
Well fortunately my brain computed that the soup was needed more urgently for weekday lunches so I had a thought.
Cauliflower and cheese do work well together don’t they? How about making a creamy stock using the cauliflower and adding in the low fat cream cheese and white kidney beans to make it a kind of cheesy cauliflower and white bean soup?
Well it worked perfectly. 🙂
- 1l vegetable stock
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 400g cauliflower florets, chopped
- 2 tbsp. corn flour
- 250ml cold skimmed milk
- 100g low fat soft cheese
- 400g can white beans (e.g. Cannellini beans / butter beans / white kidney beans) rinsed and drained
- Low fat grated cheddar cheese (to garnish)
- In a large saucepan, add the stock and bring it to the boil.
- Add the onion and cauliflower, turn the heat down and allow the vegetables to simmer for 30 minutes until soft.
- Blitz the vegetables in a blender or by using a stick blender to a creamy consistency.
- Return the creamy vegetable stock to the saucepan and heat gently
- In a jug, add the corn flour to the skimmed milk and stir together well to remove any lumps.
- Add the milk mixture to the saucepan of stock and stir in the low fat cheese. Keep stirring until the soup has thickened and to remove any lumps.
- Add your chosen white beans and heat through for about 10 minutes.
- Serve garnished with a little low fat grated cheese.
I suppose in many way’s it’s a bit similar to the delicious broccoli and stilton soup I make (minus the stilton) have you tried that one yet?
So how did vegan January go?
I’d say we pretty much accomplished what we set out to do. Which was to see what it was like to eat a vegan diet all month.
It challenged me to create recipes that were entirely plant based and it also gave me a fantastic opportunity to practice and trial lots of spiralizer recipes (future posts) with the spiralizer I got for Christmas.
I deliberately didn’t publicise or shout about it on social media or when publishing January’s vegan based recipes.
Why? Well I didn’t want my audience to think that the theme of neilshealthymeals was changing given I’ve just spent months creating the blog theme and niche of quick healthy meals and living by the 80:20 lifestyle!
Would I consider becoming vegan permanently?
No. I personally felt no benefit of eating a purely vegan diet. It didn’t make me feel any different (not that I was expecting it to). We already have a healthy lifestyle and feel great about the way we live. Why would we need to change that?
Now, that being said I absolutely respect your choice as to what you eat in life, being vegan, paleo, gluten free, vegetarian or whatever. And neilshealthymeals aims to cater for you all. Everyone is different and what works best for us, may not be best for you. Life is about choices, I respect yours, I hope you respect mine.
To emphasise what I’m saying, In that, I try to cater for everyone by having a wide selection of dishes to suit all dietary needs, I’ll be bringing you a fantastic bean and tomato stew on Thursday. It is vegan, but of course anyone can enjoy it. It’s just packed full of fibre and tasty veggies!
We only did a vegan diet for one month, and over the longer term there’s greater considerations. For example, we humans get our recommended vitamins and minerals by eating a wide range of plants and animals.
In the longer term, some vitamins, like vitamin B12 if you’re following a strictly vegan diet, may have to come from specially fortified foods. As I like my food to not be “unnatural” that wouldn’t go for me. I don’t like the idea of vitamin B12 supplements either as taking too much could be harmful.
I’m also a huge believer in looking at how we are actually made up. As humans we have two eyes in the front of our head. Two eyes meant for hunting. Now, whilst I don’t believe we need to hunt any more, I’m just stating a fact that we’ve always eaten animals. And a plant diet in unison.
We don’t need, and shouldn’t eat as much meat as we do, specifically red meat. We should eat more lean white meats and oily fish. AND we should eat more veggies. By balancing the two correctly we can live a balanced healthy lifestyle. Without the need to eat vegan and nothing else.
In summary, it’s always good to try something different. I can say I have lived on a vegan diet for a month. And it all adds up to being able to talk truthfully and from first-hand experience of another diet that I’ve tried.
But, for us It’s the 80:20 diet lifestyle that’s made and continues to make all the difference in our lives.
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Catch you Thursday folks for that winter warming bean and tomato stew. 🙂