A year ago I would’ve told you I hated cauliflower, but the truth was I didn’t understand it. But that changed last winter when I challenged myself to find the brighter side of cauliflower, a side different from the mushy cauliflower mess served in elementary school lunches mixed with overcooked and tasteless carrots and broccoli. And it turned out cauliflower that I did like cauliflower with it fairly neutral astringent taste that works in many cooking methods, although my favorites are roasted and pureed.
This soup takes the pureed route. The cauliflower is simmered with onions, garlic and ginger in a chicken broth-coconut milk liquid. Once soft, the mixture is pureed into to a silky smooth texture and seasoned with spices. And voila, a beautiful, smooth, subtly spicy soup with a hint of sweetness from the coconut milk.
Oh, and did I mention it’s healthy and nutritious?
Here’s the recipe:
Curried Cauliflower Coconut Soup – makes 5 cups
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1 14-ounce can lite coconut milk
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Garnish: 1 scallion, green party only, sliced thin (optional)
Pour the olive oil in a large pot set over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the ginger and cook for three minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Add the chopped cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid just to a boil, then decrease the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is very soft.
Cool the soup slightly then puree using an immersion or standing blender. Stir in the salt, pepper, curry powder, cumin, paprika and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve hot with sliced scallions.