Once upon a time there was a sad little bunch of florets. Overcooked and generally doused in a heavy cheese sauce, it’s true inner beauty and flavor went unappreciated by those around it. Until one day, a recipe came along that knew JUST how to treat this yummy vegetable and it was brought forth from the shadows. Soon after it was discovered that this lovely cabbage flower was a member of the Royal Brassica Oleracea family, it’s family included broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, collard greens, and cabbage. (Ok, I made up the ‘Royal’ part…)
Quick note: I don’t have a problem with a good cheese sauce. However, if you haven’t tried just chopping up a head of cauliflower into even bite-sized bits, sprinkling with a little olive oil and salt and then broiling it until it caramelizes, you seriously don’t know what you are missing. It’s like BUDDA, baby.
Cauliflower has a lot to offer in addition to it’s lovely flavor, when cooked correctly. It is considered a nutrient dense food because it is low in fat, but high in fiber, folate, and vitamin C, in addition to several phytonutrients that are believed to help protect against cancer and aid in DNA repair. So get ready to get your cauliflower on!
This recipe was initially inspired by a recipe in a magazine that turned out to be more like an evil step-sister. The picture looked really pretty, but when I started to read the directions, like just boiling the cauliflower in water forever (ick, overcooked, taking away nutrients AND flavor) and also didn’t call for the entire head of cauliflower (what am I supposed to do with the rest?) Not that I couldn’t find something to do with it, but if I’m going to make a soup, I’d just rather use the whole cauliflower, you know? So, pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside, this an evil step-sister makes.
I kept a few things, like, the cauliflower, the coconut milk and the curry spices. The rest is just soup-making basics. So let’s get to it.
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon ginger
1 whole onion (I went with a yellow, or a sweet would be nice here, too)
3 cups chicken stock
whole head of cauliflower, chopped into even almost bite-sized pieces
1 and 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons parsley (more if you are really into it)
The other nice thing about this recipe is that it’s fairly simple. I like simple. And so does cauliflower. It doesn’t take a lot to make it taste good.
Chop your onion and throw it in your warmed soup pot with some olive oil and saute until just soft. While the onion is softening, chop your garlic and your ginger. When the onion is ready, toss in your garlic and ginger and saute until you can just smell them, maybe a minute or so. Then throw in your three cups of stock.
Chop up your head of cauliflower. I find it is easier to start by removing the stalk so you get the pesky green leaves out of the way. They are a little tough and hard to get around. Then you can set your cauliflower head flat side down on the cutting board and get to business. Add this to the pot, along with the curry powder.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for about ten minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
While the soup is simmering away, get out your coconut milk. You’ll want to give it a stir since it separates in the can. You could also take this moment to chop up your parsley.
And may I just take a moment, since the soup is still boiling, to elaborate on the wonderful world of parsley? It has also been found to have anti-cancer benefits by inhibiting the formation of blood vessels that feed a tumor, helps to excrete sodium while increasing the absorption of potassium, is antimicrobial and is also a rich source of phytochemicals, like carotenoids, which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Ok, done.
That soup is probably about ready! Pour in your mixed up coconut milk and get ready to blend.
The next step, for me, includes an immersion blender. I had an ‘incident’ with a regular blender and hot soup a couple years ago, and I just don’t go there anymore. But if that’s what you’ve got, just proceed with caution and in SMALL batches. Don’t let impatience get the best of you. Believe you me!
Once you have achieved the desired consistency, add your salt and pepper to your own liking and serve it up. If you desire a little more curry punch here, don’t be afraid to add a little more. Soup is good that way. It takes to tweaking pretty well.
Sprinkle on your parsley and “Mangia, mangia, mangia!”
This soup has a delicate sweetness to it with a satisfying and rich finish. It would probably be delicious hot or cold..although we didn’t have enough left over to test out the cold hypothesis…oops! Maybe next time.