No-Waste Cauliflower Leaf & Kale Stalk Soup

No-Waste Cauliflower Leaf & Kale Stalk Soup

We advised you to not throw away or compost your watermelon rinds, and now we’re back to tell you the same about cauliflower leaves & kale stalks. Use them to make zero-waste soup instead with the recipe below.

And if you’re eyeing the cropped cornbread (gluten- and dairy-free) on the side, we’re smitten to tell you that the recipe for it will be coming out next week . . .


Serves 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes • Cook Time: 1 hour


  • 1 small or ¾ cup finely chopped yellow onion

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons of grass-fed ghee, grass-fed butter, or olive oil

  • 5 cups of chopped cauliflower stem, leaves, and/or kale stalk

  • 28 oz. or 3 ½ cups (800 mL) of bone, chicken, or vegetable broth

  • Dried mint, a drizzle of olive oil, & smoked paprika to garnish, optional


  1. Heat a large stockpot to medium heat with your preferred oil. When heated, add your chopped onion and garlic. Cook until golden brown.

  2. Place the chopped leaves and stalks in then sauté again for five minutes.

  3. Add the broth of your choice, bring to a boil, then reduce back down to medium heat. Cover the pot and let it simmer for half an hour.

  4. Use a hand-held immersion blender or high-speed blender to blend into soup. If using the latter, scoop the soup into the blender in batches to avoid high pressure from the contents and heat (it might explode open, don’t try your chances).

This soup keeps in the refrigerator for a week.

We like serving it as pictured and, for a creamier option, with a dollop of our favourite yoghurt. You can opt for dairy yoghurt, such as cow’s or goat’s (latter is more digestible). If possible, opt for grass-fed. For a dairy-free version, we recommend Lavva’s plain yoghurt—unsweetened and without gums or additives unlike other plant-based options—or a nut-free coconut-based one such as Coconut Cult (we love that it goes a very long way as it’s concentrated and is in glass jars rather than plastic) or make your own, economical coconut yoghurt with the recipe on The Thirlby book!

About the Author

Almila Kakinc-Dodd is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief of The Thirlby. She is also the author of the book The Thirlby: A Field Guide to a Vibrant Mind, Body, & Soul. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Nursing as a Dean’s Scholar at Johns Hopkins University. Her background is in Anthropology & Literature, which she has further enriched through her Integrative Health Practitioner training at Duke University. She lives in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area, where she regularly contributes to various publications. She is a member of Democratic Socialists of America and urges others to join the movement.

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