Like I’ve said before, I think cauliflower gets a bad rap but it can be quite deliscious when prepared well. I was excited to see a cauliflower soup recipe in Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food because soup weather is in full swing and how can you go wrong with Alice?
For the first few years of our relationship, Joseph wasn’t really into soups. He was fine with it as an appetizer before dinner, but it was never really enough for him as a meal on its own. Or so he thought. Something has changed this fall and we’ve been making a lot of soups and Joseph’s getting pretty into it. Which makes me happy because I love a simple dinner of soup and fresh baked bread and it’s even better when they’re so easy to make, like this one.
I mean, you just chop some stuff up and throw it in a pot and let it simmer, and then you have not just dinner, but lunch for the next day.
And there’s nothing bland about this soup. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, to be honest. When I first the recipe, I guess I was thinking maybe a creamy off-white soup. Not at all. It’s brothy since you only really blend by hand using a whisk and the spices give it a nice inviting, warm color. It wasn’t spicy enough for us, so we added more spice in, really giving it some kick. When you live in New England, you need something to keep you warm!
Spicy Cauliflower Soup
Adapted from Alice Waters
1/4 cup olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes
fresh-ground black pepper
6 cilantro sprigs, coarsly chopped
1 large head cauliflower, coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
4 cups chicken broth*
2 cups water
yogurt, to serve (optional)**
chopped cilantro or mint
squeeze of lime juice
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. With pot on medium heat, add onion, carrot, coriander, cumin, chile, turmeric, dried chile flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Once they are soft, but not brown, add the cilantro, cauliflower, broth and water. Raise the heat to bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is very tender, about 30 minutes. Stir vigourously with a whisk to break down the cauliflower. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste (we added more of all of the spices) if necessary. Serve hot with yogurt (if desired), cilantro or mint, and lime juice.
*Use vegetable broth to make vegetarian
** We didn’t bother with yogurt.