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There are so many recipes for this out there!
What got me to thinking about curry and cauliflower together? Sitar. It’s a local Indian restaurant that I love. They serve a buffet style lunch and they have at least 3 each of vegetarian and vegan dishes on that thing at all times. And one of them happened to be curried vegetables. So I knew I liked the flavor of the cauliflower and curry together.
But that’s only half of the story. The other half is – I bought 2 heads of cauliflower with the intent of making buffaloed cauliflower. And then the kids got in there and used up most of my ingredients – except the cauliflower.
Welcome to Parenting of Young Adults 101 – lesson 5, “If it ain’t locked away, it will be eaten – sometimes, even if it’s labeled.”
So, I had the cauliflower and I have a pantry full of spices, waiting to be used, and I had an inspiration. Instead of the old recipe, I would try a newer one. A bonus, I hoped it would give me the cozies, because hot soup on cold winter days are the bomb!
I looked up several recipes. Now, keep in mind, you can do this with frozen cauliflower, too. You have to pre-cook the cauliflower, no matter which way you go with it. Otherwise you’re working with either raw or frozen stuff and that’s not good. I got a great deal on fresh heads of the vegetable, so that was my route. Since it was going to be in a soup, I didn’t mind chopping it up and steaming it. However, I kind of like that flavor of the darkened roasted cauliflower. Since it’s winter and I like a warm house, I opted for putting parchment paper on my big sheet pan, putting the cauliflower on it along with some fresh cut garlic and onion. I spritzed it all with a bit of olive oil and put it in the oven at 350°F.
And while that happened, I began the plotting of the soup base. This is where you get your soup-pot out, drizzle some oil in the bottom and heat it up to medium. I chopped and sauteed a medium onion there until it was transluecent and then added some garlic, ginger, curry powder (which you can mix and make yourself), cumin, and turmeric. We love turmeric in this house! And the garlic? Yum! So I just kept stirring this stuff until the smell began to really get good.
This is the part where you wind up with a slow migration of adult-sized children wandering out of the woodwork to figure out what that yummy smell is. I shooed them away as-needed. After all, they ate part of the original ingredients and were now on my annoyance list (there’s a better name for this list, but I’m being polite because this is my blog!).
Now, I like canned goods, because they make things easier. My goal in this coming year is to go back to growing a lot of my own vegetables and actually cooking and canning my own goodies. I’ll be posting videos and pictures and writing articles to take you through those processes. However, I didn’t do that last year and so I just used a can of fire-roasted tomatoes from the store. I stirred that into the spices for at least a minute or two before adding a can of coconut milk. I like coconut milk for this recipe because of my inspiration for this – Sitar. They have some amazing dishes made with coconut milk and so I wanted to have that flavor in the soup. However, you can use other kinds of milk if you want. Just nothing sweet! Also, I added another can because of the amount of mouths I need to feed.
At this point, you can take the cauliflower, garlic, and onions out of the oven and put them into your soup. If you want to dress up the presentation, save out a bit of that cauliflower to rest on top of the soup in the bowl, adding parsley or cilantro or both sprinkled over it. I was on a mission of making something good to eat for the family, so I didn’t care about presentation. I just dumped it all into the big pot and brought it to a boil. And you know what? I had leftovers. So I decided to get rid of those, too. The carrot strips needed to be eaten or they were going to go bad in a day or two. So those got dumped in. Kale! I had kale! Dumped into the soup. I had left over lentils that had been cooked and put in the fridge. Sure! In they go! Less than half a cup of vegetable stock left over from earlier in the week? Okay, I only put ¼ cup of this in, because I wanted my soup to stay creamy. But at least it wasn’t all wasted. So in the end, the soup became heartier and had more protein and fiber!
That done, I brought it to low flame and let it simmer for about 20ish minutes, stirring it occasionally and tasting it. Most recipe blogs will tell you to use an immersion blender or a regular blender to make it creamy. However, I liked the way the cauliflower incorporated into the soup as it was. It had been roasted and then boiled and simmered in the soup, so it was already falling apart and mushed enough, in my opinion. I let the kids, who were by now a gaggle of vultures, taste my making and they agreed. So we skipped the blending and just ladled the soup into bowls and enjoyed with crackers.
Ahhhhh…. Hot soup on cold winter days for 10 – 12 servings. Perfect!
Curried Cauliflower Soup
- 2 heads or 2 bags frozen - cauliflower
- 3 cloves of garlic for chopping and roasting
- 1 large white onion - chopped - half for roasting and half for soup base
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable butter or oil for sauteing soup base.
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic for soup base
- 2 tablespoons of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon of curry powder
- 3 ½ - 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cans of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon curry paste?
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)
- Place fresh cauliflower that has been cut from the step along with half a chopped onion and chopped fresh garlic on a parchment covered baking sheet.
- Spritz all of it with olive oil and place in the oven until golden brown (usually 30 minutes).
- In the large soup pot, add oil over medium heat (or vegetable butter if you prefer).
- Saute onions until translucent and then add in the garlic and if you thought about them - the carrot strings.
- Add in all of the dried spices. Stir for a minute at most before adding in the can of roasted diced tomatoes. Let that simmer for at least five minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and the coconut milk. You decide on the consistency and therefore how much of each to use. Less creamy = more stock and less coconut milk.
- Add in the cauliflower, onions, and garlic from the oven. Break up the cauliflower within the soup to small pieces. Remember, you could also have steamed the cauliflower and not roasted it it you wanted it that way. No problems. You just won’t get a more roasted flavor.
- Add in any other vegetable or lentil to the soup as you wish.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook together on low heat for another 20 minutes.
MADE ANY OF THESE RECIPES?
I’d love to see what you whipped up! Post it on Facebook or Instagram and tag @noobcuisine or use the hashtag #noobcuisine!