Meatless Monday: Curried Cauliflower Soup

Something about cold weather makes it so hard to get out of bed in the morning.

I mean, the obvious conclusion is that no one wants to leave the comfort of a warm, cozy bed for the cold, harsh world. We don’t usually run the heater at night (because we’re cheap :-P)…we’ve had a warm rainy spell here, so last night it was 68 when I went to sleep and 58 when I woke up. My roomie wasn’t as lucky this weekend though:

Anyway, that feeling of not wanting to get out of bed in the morning is only intensified on Monday mornings, I think. There’s just something in the air that makes Monday mornings suck. Come to think of it, I”m not particularly fond of Sundays either. Especially when you drink a whole bottle of red wine on Saturday night at a Christmas party with a puppy in a tuxedo and spend most of Sunday hungover in bed watching Suits and catching up on Homeland…but I wouldn’t know anything about that. (OMG HOMELAND THE FINALE WAS EPIC. I love me a good “WTF” moment! And Saul. Saul is my fave.)

Because it’s been getting so cold (last week was mostly in the mid-high 40’s…pretty cold by California standards!), I’ve had soup on the mind. And not just any soup…a soup with some spice. Curry it is!

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I know, I know. This soup is pale yellow…Hardly appetizing. But hear me out!

I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes using cauliflower in place of potato in recipes, or cauliflower puree instead of cream to make a creamy soup….and it’s pretty intriguing. Jen from The Scrumptious Pumpkin has particularly been fueling my cauliflower intrigue with her Skinny Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Healthier Potatoes au Gratin. Stay posted – I will inevitably lure my boyfriend into eating cauliflower while telling him it’s potatoes sometime soon. But until then, we have straight up cauliflower soup!

This soup is warm (cause it’s soup and that’s how you’re supposed to serve it), hot (cause it’s got Indian spices in it), and perfectly hits the spot. One head of cauliflower only made enough for two servings, but if you only have one head of cauliflower and want this soup to produce more than two meals, you can add a cup or two of peeled and diced potatoes to the pot when you’re steaming the cauliflower. The result, because potatoes are super starchy, will produce a thicker soup!

However, the cauliflower alone is just as good. Especially if you’ve got some “naan” to dip in it. I just charred some tortillas and called it naan…I know they aren’t the same…just humor me here and tell me in looks like naan.

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Curried Cauliflower Soup
makes 2 large bowls of soup

1 medium-sized head of cauliflower (I’d guess this was about 3-4 cups of florets)
1/2 of a large white or yellow onion
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp curry powder or garam masala
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
pinch of cayenne pepper (Optional. Garam masala already has a bit of a kick)
oil, for sauteing onions and spices

1-2 pieces of naan, flatbread or tortilla, for serving

Notes: I used lite coconut milk, but full fat would work fine. Curry powder and turmeric will give the soup a yellowish hue…if that weirds you out (haha), you can leave the turmeric out. But don’t cut the curry or garam masala!

Begin by breaking down the head of cauliflower. Chop off as much of the stems as you can, but don’t worry about breaking down the pieces too small. Steam or boil the florets for about 15-20 minutes, until fork tender. Alternatively, you could also toss the cauliflower in oil and roast them…this would probably taste better, but it would also take longer.

While florets are steaming. slice onion into long strips. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Make sure the pot is large, you will be adding in all the cauliflower later. Then, add onions and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring frequently for a minute or two. Next, add spices and stir to coat everything. Let toast for about 5 minutes. It may seem to be burning…if you’re worried it actually is, turn down the heat to low.

After 5 minutes, add in enough coconut milk to cover the bottom of the pot and use a spatula to deglaze the pot. Toss in the cooked cauliflower and the rest of the coconut milk. The liquid probably won’t cover the cauliflower at this point, so add water until it does (about a cup and a half, more for a thinner soup). Let all the soup ingredients simmer for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a food processor or blender. Blitz it to your desired consistency, then keep warm on the stove or serve immediately with fresh naan!

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