Almost every year, I succumb to a moment of temporary insanity on December 31st. I make all sorts of crazy resolutions for the next year. And in the first few weeks of January, those New Year’s resolutions generally hold firm. I go to the gym, forgo the ice cream, munch on raw broccoli and drag my butt to Pilates class. But by the third week of the new year, all my good intentions have been waylaid by stressful late nights at the office, snowy winter mornings, movie theatre popcorn with extra butter, and cozy cuddling on the couch.
Let’s be honest. Am I really going to keep my vow to make it to the gym every single day? Nope. Not likely. And give up ice cream? Why did I ever want to give up ice cream? Seriously… what was I thinking?
So I’m trying to bring a little bit of balance to my January. Healthy, wonderful, delicious food – like this soup. And a bit of ice cream every now and then too.
This soup is amazingly fragrant, easy to make, and perfect for a cold night. It actually gets even better the next day, so makes for tasty leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. I’m not usually an advocate of frozen veggies, but in the case of soup, I’ve found that frozen is usually as good as fresh. So feel free to use a bag of frozen cauliflower in place of the fresh in this recipe.
I really like good, grainy croutons on top of this soup, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. But a handful of toasted sunflower seeds would be lovely too. And adding a sprinkle of finely chopped hard-boiled egg or a big dollop of Greek yogurt would make this soup into a hearty meal (but would, of course, make the dish no longer vegan). Basically, anything goes. Use your imagination, and enjoy!
Indian Spiced Cauliflower Soup
For the soup:
1 pound fresh cauliflower (about 1 head) chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the toppings:
4 slices whole grain bread, cut in cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or any other fresh herbs you have in the fridge)
Steam the cauliflower until very tender. Meanwhile, in a large pot, saute the onion in oil over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and spices and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and broth to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor. I like it to retain a bit of texture, but you can puree until completely smooth if you prefer. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir in the almond milk. Heat until fully warmed through.
Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes with oil, salt and pepper. Toast under the broiler until golden brown.
To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls and top with croutons and cilantro.