Curried Cauliflower Soup
More winter comfort food! When one of our contributors, Simi, originally developed this recipe, it was because she wanted to make something easy with whatever she had in her fridge. She turned a simple cauliflower into a curried potage that will definitely warm your bones and delight your tastebuds this winter season.
Just in case “potage” is a word that is new to you;
A potage is a blended, puréed, or otherwise thick soup. In French, all soup is called “le potage”. French soups are typically blended soups (except for the bouillabaisse they eat in the south or high-society consommé broth), so it’s no wonder we take their general word for soup as our word for the thick version.
This morning I’m in Portland, Oregon, and I’m feeling the chill. It’s misty and grey over the thick moss-covered brick patio outside my window. The grasses and mosses are a vibrant hue of bright green. Flowers are in bloom everywhere. Clusters of white and yellow daffidills are popping up anywhere there’s a bit of dirt and pink, white, or blush-colored blooms cover the previously naked tree branches like fireworks lining the streets.
The crisp air is perfumed by flowers, wet dirt, and rain. Every street corner has a different floral scent. Each time you walk a new block, you have to search around to identify the flower you’re having the pleasure of breathing in. The grey mist only adds to the ambience, painting a somber, serene, calm, early-morning peace to the place. It looks like a beautiful work of digital art everywhere you look.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a big fan of Oregon and all it’s nature-filled glory.
This soup would do well in my stomach right about now. A warm, comforting, thick soup with a view like this sounds absolutely perfect.
The yellow curry powder in this soup brings a very mild spice (imagine the way cinnamon brings a spice flavor, though not necessarily a heat), and ultimately comes together with the cauliflower to create a sweet, warm, exotic flavor, that isn’t pungent or intense, unlike an actual curry. Feel free to tinker with the flavors. You can add cayenne pepper to give it some heat, black pepper for a mild, woody spice (and a specked appearance), cumin for an earthy, nutty flavor, nutritional yeast for a rich, creamy flavor, or good ol’ fashioned salt for a more intense flavor.
To make this soup heartier, you can add boiled potatoes, boiled carrots, cooked lentils, or frozen green peas after you’ve blended the cauliflower. For a more luxurious texture you can add the potatoes or lentils into the blending step, so that the soup has an even thicker, smoother consistency.
Not only is this soup delicious, it’s really stunning. That bright pop of yellow color is fun and inviting. You can dress it up with white coconut cream (I put a few drops on top and then dragged a knife through it for this ^ design), bright green cilantro, cayenne pepper powder (for a pop of burnt sienna color), sophisticated, forest-green pumpkin seeds, or some roasted purple carrots (since yellow and purple are complementary colors!).
Believe it or not cauliflower is a super food! It’s full of amazing nutrients like vitamin C (it actually supplies about 77% of daily requirements!), vitamin K, protein, magnesium, fiber, and much more. It has anti-cancer properties, and even specifically has been found to prevent and even treat prostate cancer when it is combined with turmeric (turmeric is a root in the ginger family that gives curry powder its gorgeous saffron color). That makes this soup a healthy food if you ask me!
Soups are always welcome in my house – rain or shine, hot or cold, day or night, all day, every day – so having this incredibly simple recipe in my arsenal is really helpful for when I get that craving. We hope this turns out to be a super easy, go-to dinner idea for you as well.
- ½ a medium onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, large chopped
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric powder (if you don't have this use 1/2 tsp more curry powder)
- 1.5 cups of vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Cayenne pepper powder, to taste (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Canned coconut milk
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cayenne pepper
- Black Pepper
- Purple Carrots, boiled or roasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a bowl, toss the cauliflower with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, the cumin, and the salt
- Spread the florets on a baking sheet
- Once the oven is preheated, add the sheet and roast for about 20 minutes
- Heat the other 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan on medium heat, just enough that it sizzles when you add a piece of onion to it (do not let burn or smoke)
- Add the onion and carrots and let cook for about 5 minutes
- Add the curry powder, turmeric powder, and a pinch of salt
- Stir for 2 minutes so the spices have time to "open up" with the heat
- Add roasted cauliflower and vegetable broth and stir to combine
- Remove from heat and let cool (if too hot it will explode in the blender)
- Add the soup to the blender and liquify to a smooth consistency
- If the mixture is too thick add more vegetable stock
- If desired, add the soup back to the pot to heat through to desired temperature (about 3-5 minutes)
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Wash, peel, and cube two medium-sized russet potatoes (can use yukon golds or fingerling, just use 4-5 and peeling is optional). Add to a pot and cover with cold water (just 1-2 inches above the potatoes) and a large pinch of salt. Boil for 15 minutes or until tender. Strain and stir into soup at the end.
- Same as above, but add them to the blender during the blending step.
- Buy any dried lentils you like ("regular" ones are khaki-brown in color, but red or French green lentils work too - "split red" are different and take much less time to cook). Wash them in a strainer and pick out any rocks if you find them. Add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of lentils to a pot. Lentils will triple in size so make sure it's large enough. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, then reduce heat to a simmer until tender. This should take about 45 to 55 minutes. Do not remove the lid until the 45 minute-mark to check them, then let cook a little longer if needed. This makes more than enough for the soup so you can save some for later. Add about one to two cups of the lentils to the soup, depending on how lentil-y you want it.
- Cook the lentils as described above. Add 1 cup of lentils to the blender when you blend the cauliflower and liquify. Test the consistency and add another cup if desired.
- Cut 2-3 medium carrots into large, bite-sized chunks. Add to a pot of boiling water and boil until tender, about 10-20 minutes.
- After the blending step, and just before you serve, add the soup back into the saucepan on the stove. Add about 1 cup of frozen peas and heat for about 5 minutes until the peas have thawed and the soup is hot.
- Substitute canned coconut instead for 1/2 cup of vegetable broth for a richer, creamier taste.