This cauliflower soup is light, healthy, and comforting. It’s easy enough to put together after work, packs a flavour punch, and is loaded with nutritious antioxidants.
My husband is not a big fan of cauliflower. He first tasted it when he moved to the United States as a young man, and did not enjoy it. In fact, his first — negative — impression of bland, flavourlessness stuck with him for years.
The first time I ever saw my better half enjoy cauliflower was when we lived in New Delhi, where it is commonly stir fried with potatoes and spices. The cauliflower (and the potatoes) caramelise, and the pungent aromatics kick the whole dish up a notch. It’s a humble, every day dish. However, the rich flavours belie its simplicity.
So, when winter rolls around in Johannesburg and I crave warming cauliflower soup, I turn to those flavours my husband enjoyed so much in India. I stir fry the cauliflower to attain that rich, caramelised flavour my husband adores. Then, I add a few simple seasonings, yielding a soup which is comfortingly rich and familiar.
About the Recipe
Cauliflower is a healthy, fibre-rich, low-calorie vegetable that yields a hearty, creamy, low-fat soup. Moreover, it is like a blank canvas, inviting you to paint it with the flavours you enjoy. So, it’s the perfect vehicle for just about any seasoning you might choose.
Here, I’ve relied on fresh turmeric and ginger for the bulk of the flavour. I particularly enjoy the pungency and vibrancy of fresh turmeric. However, if you prefer to avoid the mess or simply can’t find the fresh rhizome in the supermarket, feel free to use turmeric powder.
As for the cayenne pepper, start gently and taste as you go. As I’ve mentioned before, my family likes the heat. In fact, I frequently use at least double the amount of chilli I suggest in my recipes. However, heat tolerance is very individual. The idea here is to add a little heat, not set your mouth on fire. So, please, feel free to adjust the volume of cayenne to your family’s tastes.
I hope your family enjoys this rich, satisfying soup as much as mine does. Bon appétit!
Curried Cauliflower Soup
This rich, satisfying soup is perfect for chilly evenings. It's a simple, vegan dish that comes together in under an hour and is delicious paired with a Bombay sandwich or a grown up toasted cheese.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 750 g (1 lb, 10 oz) cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon minced, fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced, fresh turmeric (or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 4 cups vegetable stock (store bought or homemade)
- To garnish
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves (or micro-coriander)
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- Step 1 Heat the oil in a stockpot set over medium-high heat. As soon as the oil is hot and shimmering, add the cauliflower florets to the pot and stir every minute or two to turn and caramelise the individual florets.
- Step 2 Once the florets are caramelized in patches, add the ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and salt. Turn once or twice to combine and add the vegetable stock to the pot.
- Step 3 Bring the soup to the boil, then reduce the heat to low to keep the soup at a low simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked through.
- Step 4 When the cauliflower is thoroughly cooked, remove the soup from the heat and use a stick blender to puree the soup.
- Step 5 Once the soup has arrived at the desired consistency, ladle it into bowls, and garnish with coriander and a sprinkling of garam masala. Serve immediately.