Friday, February 13, 2015

I haven't made anything curried in a while

This was something I picked up a while ago--I actually made it back in January.  Like a lot of people, I need to eat more vegetables, and I couldn't recall last time I had made anything with cauliflower. I've made curried carrot soup, and I've made aloo gobi, and this recipe seemed to evoke some of the best of both: 

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 2 medium white onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to season
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets 
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to season
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashew halves, for garnish (optional, see Recipe Note)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)
  • red chile pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Cook the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt until onions are soft and transluscent, 8-9 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes. Add cauliflower, vegetable broth, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15-17 minutes
Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth, and then return the soup to the soup pot. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to purée the soup right in the pot.) Stir in the coconut milk and warm the soup. Taste and add more salt, pepper or spices if you’d like.
To serve, ladle the soup into favorite bowls and garnish with a handful of toasted cashews, a few springs of parsley, sprinkle of red chile flakes and a dash of olive oil to top.
Maybe it's because I smoked for many years, but I do have a heavy taste for spice. I tripled the spices, and keep thinking I maybe just should have gone with garam masala. The flavor was tasty, and very warming, but not spicy on the tongue. I felt like there was something missing. The condiments did make a lot of difference. The hot pepper was a nice contrast and the cashews added a richness not present in the cauliflower naturally. I tried some cilantro on top, but it didn't work for me. The addition of the olive oil was nice as well, especially when I had some pita bread with the soup.
Nexx suggested the addition of ginger next time and I tried that with some of the leftovers. It added a brightness that made a lot of difference, so that's definitely going in next time. Overall, a decidedly worthy experiment. There's also a link to a recipe to a roasted cauliflower and potato soup with dill that you may be seeing a blog entry about in the future.

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