10 April 2019

Curried Cauliflower Soup

I'd like to change the picture of The Spice Garden welcome in the sidebar to a lovely, breezy Spring photo, but alas, winter just continues to hold on tight to this little corner of New Hampshire. Taking a little walk around the back acreage, I've found that the daffodils are only about an inch out of the ground. The crocuses along the side walkway are tiny little needles of green just breaking the surface of the soil and there are three lone snowdrops in bloom along the rock wall. For mid-April, this is sad and sorry. To boot, we got a couple inches of snow last evening and into this morning.  So, I make soup and SB keeps the woodstoves going and we wait ...

This curried cauliflower soup is a spicy warm bowl to ward off the chill. My daughter Kate made this soup back around the holidays when she was visiting.  I've hounded her a couple times for the recipe and finally found it on-line. It was one of the NYT recipes by contributor Martha Shulman that are published weekly. It has good spice and silken texture. I like it with snipped herbs - today it was chives - and pita chips crumbled atop for some crunch.

Here's how to make it.

Martha Shulman's Curried Cauliflower Soup
slightly adapted for my tastes


5 tbsp.olive oil, divided
1 medium sweet white onion, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch knob ginger root, minced
2 tsp. curry powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
1 large Russet potato, peeled and diced medium 
1 medium head cauliflower, deflowered and chopped 
2 quarts chicken stock
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Garnish : Chopped herbs and olive oil drizzle
                Pita chips, slightly crushed

Making the Soup:

1. Pre heat oven to 475 degrees F. Toss the cauliflower florets with 3 tbsp. olive oil, Kosher salt and plenty of black pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Roast on the lowest rack in the oven for about ten minutes. Remove the foil and toss the cauliflower a bit to turn it. Continue roasting uncovered. Watch carefully and toss when they start to brown at the edges. Total roast time is about 20 minutes at that heat. 

2. Remove from the oven and set aside.

3. Place the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in a deep heavy soup pot. Heat over medium -high heat. Add the onions and sweat them until they glisten. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin and stir to coat the onions and release the spicy goodness - about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

4. Add the chicken stock and the potato. Bring to a boil, scraping the pot bottom to release all the spices and onion and garlic. Lower the heat and add the roasted cauliflower. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

5. Using an immersion blender, whiz the soup to a soft, silky smooth  bisque-like consistency.

6. Serve in deep bowls, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped herbs and small handful of crispy crushed Pita chips.

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