Cauliflower, Pear and Fennel Soup

cauliflower-pear-fennel
Serves 4 – 6
Can be doubled

2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted margarine or canola oil
3 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only, sliced 1/8 inch thick (about 3 cups), rinsed well
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup pear juice
7 cups chicken broth or water
1 small head cauliflower (about 1-1/2 lb.), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
1 large ripe pear, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon; more for garnish
1/2 cup soymilk or non-dairy milk; more for garnish
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Melt the margarine in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks, fennel, parsnip, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the pear juice, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a syrup, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower, pear, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Turn the heat down to medium low, partially cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft, about 40 minutes. Stir in the tarragon.
With an immersion blender purée the soup. Stir in the soymilk, and reheat. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with a thin swirl of non-dairy cream and a sprinkle of tarragon.

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