Sunday, January 23, 2011

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Another recipe from Whole Foods. I was attracted by the words "creamy" and "curried" in this one, and of course the curried sunflower seed topping. Isn't it funny the words and things that pull you into a recipe and make you want to try it.

I like that it uses an alternative, non-dairy milk and the puréed cauliflower instead of cream to achieve the creamy texture. (The recipe calls for almond milk, but I had a pack of coconut milk opened and thought it would be an even better choice.) This is a satisfying soup with lots of flavor--perfect for a cooler evening or a lunchbox

You can find the recipe at the Whole Foods website here.

Whole Foods says, "Curry powder and almond milk conspire here with the cauliflower to produce a full-flavored blended soup that's creamy on the palate without including any actual cream. The toasted sunflower seeds on top are a beautiful touch both floating in the bowl and crunching in the mouth."

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup
Courtesy of Whole Foods Market
(Serves 4)

1/4 cup raw sunflower kernels
3 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, divided (I used coconut milk)
3 teaspoons mild curry powder, divided, more to taste (I used about 5 total)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cups (about 1 pound) cauliflower florets

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a medium bowl, toss sunflower kernels with 1 teaspoon almond milk and 1 teaspoon curry powder. Spread out on a small parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake, tossing once or twice, until toasted and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup almond milk in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, remaining 2 teaspoons curry powder and almond milk, cover and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 40 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with more curry powder if you like.

Working in batches, carefully purée in a blender until smooth. Transfer to bowls, garnish with sunflower seeds and serve.

Nutrition Per serving: 140 calories (60 from fat), 7g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium, 16g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 5g sugar), 6g protein.

Notes/Results: Creamy, filling and good with nice curry flavor. There was a lot of feedback on the recipe about the amount of curry--many people food it too much--on the other hand, I added an extra teaspoon and a little more and thought the level as good. I think it depends on your tastes and the quality/flavor of the curry powder you use. The coconut milk adds extra flavor too--although I am sure the almond milk called for or soy milk would be fine too. Rather than drag out the blender, I used my immersion blender and puréed the soup in the pot. The curry-toasted sunflower seeds are a fun topping, adding additional flavor and a touch of crunch. The soup tastes even better reheated the next day. This is a simple but flavorful soup that I will make again.

We have a good-sized crowd in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week--let's take a look and see what they brought to share.

Graziana from Erbe in Cucina is here with a spiced Ethiopian-Style Legumes Soup and says, "Whenever I can, I like to cook legumes instead of buying canned ones, because they taste better and I can also create some interesting variations, like this lentils and peas soup with ginger. I defined it Ethiopian-Style because it's inspired by mit’in shiro, a traditional Ethiopian dish prepared with different types of pureed legumes and many spices."

My pal Heather of girlichef is here with two fabulous soups. First up her inventive and speedy Lazy Girl's Cassoulet about which she says, "While cassoulets traditionally employ only white beans, I had some cooked light red kidney beans that I also needed to use up. So, added to some white butter beans, those became the beany portion of my base. Obviously I would use my duck meat...but I also had some Italian sausage (although loose, and traditionally link sausage is used), so I had my meats. I knew I wanted to add some healing veggie power to the mix. Take all of that and some of the glorious golden duck fat...and what do you get?" Delicious comfort food of course!

About her next soup, hearty Sopa de Lentejas con Chorizo, (Lentil Soup with Chorizo) girlichef says, "Sweet Mely from Mexico in My Kitchen shared a pot of soup the other day that just planted itself in the path of anything else that tried to make its way into my cerebral cortex. I did things a little differently, due to what was on hand and personal cooking habits, but stayed pretty true to the way Mely made it. The main difference is that I used some split red lentils in place of regular lentils. The batch of chorizo I used was pretty spicy this time, but if it hadn't been, I knew I'd be stirring in some crushed red chiles. Also, I love finishing a hearty legume soup with a drizzle of good vinegar."

Debbi of Debbi Does Dinner... Healthy & Low Calorie made a batch of Chicken Chickpea Soup and says, "This soup was fantastic! I just want to make another enormous pot and eat it for weeks. Seriously, it was that good. Excellent as it was the first night, it was enormously better the next day, as many soups tend to be. The bacon flavor was much more pronounced after sitting in the frig. The other awesome thing was that it was super duper filling. One cup of this and you're good to go. Seriously, make this soup, get your fuzzy slippers, sit by the fire and enjoy."

Please join me in welcoming Lindsey from Enjoying Healthy Foods, making her first appearance at Souper Sundays with a flavorful Mulligatawny Soup with Venison. Her soup is chock full of ground venison, parsnips, carrots, onion, apple, coconut milk and spices. Served with roasted Brussels sprouts, it makes a filling and warming meal. Lindsey says, "We are working on another version of the soup and it is going to be GREAT!" Thanks for joining us this week Lindsey!

Julie of Little Bit of Everything has Slow Cooker French Onion Soup to share and says, "With the recipe from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker cookbook recipe as my inspiration, I created my own version. Most recipes call for dry white wine, cognac or brandy, I decided to use leftover champagne. I think it added a wonderful depth of flavor. The recipe in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker cookbook cooks the onions for 10 - 12 hours, adds the wine and broth and cooks 1 -2 additional hours. I felt the soup would have a better flavor if the broth cooked longer. I also thought the original recipe was lacking in some spices, so I chose to add bay leaves and thyme. Give this soup a try! It is almost, if not as good, as French Onion Soup cooked on the stove."

Lovely Simona from briciole joins us with Zuppa di Fagiolina del Trasimeno (Cowpea of Lake Trasimeno Soup). She says, "I ate the soup as is, while my husband's portion included a serving of toasted and cooked hulless oats (in the photo, you can see the oats before being added to the soup). As usual with me, the soup was rather thick, a feature that can be adjusted by adding water to reach the desired density. I really liked the result: the vegetable medley complements well the flavor and texture of fagiolina, a legume that is indeed "tenero, burroso e particolarmente saporito" (soft, buttery and flavorful)."

Kim from Liv Life made a classic Chicken Tortilla Soup and says, "A boring afternoon of errands was turned into a much more enjoyable afternoon of catching up, card games and Chicken Tortilla Soup. Chopping onions and sautéing chicken I enjoyed the banter and laughter of my family. Filled with aromatic spices, black beans and a hearty broth the soup is thickened perfectly with corn tortillas and then topped with my favorite goodies - sour cream, avocado, cilantro and a bright squeeze of lime. Our bodies warmed by the soup and our hearts warmed with an afternoon of simply being together, we decided that soup is indeed good food."

Libby from The Allergic Kid has a hearty Pumpkin Chili to share and says, "When I first heard the words "pumpkin" and "chili" used together, I was skeptical. The sweet and silky addition to my regular turkey chili has converted me, though, if for no other reason than I no longer feel guilty if I don't have a green vegetable on the side. Everyone gobbled it down with enthusiasm, and The Kid very specifically requested that the leftovers be put in his lunchbox the next day."

Spencer ("The Mouse") from Live2EatEat2Live Blog adapted a colorful Carrot Soup and says, "Ran across this recipe for carrot soup. I kind of followed the recipe (at least the spirit of the recipe), except that I skipped the garlic and onions, and added a pinch of turmeric and a small nub of ginger. We also had a bottle of akvavit that was sitting in the back of the refrigerator (a friend had given us a bottle as a souvenir from Denmark years ago). I thought the liquor had flavors that would compliment the carrots (caraway, cardamom, cumin, anise, lemon, orange, or fennel), I added a splash to the cooking water."

Zibi from Fresh Slowcooking capped off a cold afternoon of snow shoeing with this healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Kelp & Ginger. She says, "This fresh, fragrant chicken soup is packed with nutrition. Chunks of chicken, slices of kelp, diced carrots, onions and lots of ginger! Make it in your slow cooker so it’s ready to warm you up when you come in from the cold.I filled our bowls with soup and instantly we felt like we were wrapped in a warm fuzzy blanket by a fire."

Shri from Tiffin Carrier Antic/que's! made a Plantain and Adzuki Beans Soup and says, "This is another version of Olan served in Southern Malabar, made with Plantains and Red Azuki Beans. This dish is part of the traditional Kerala feast repertoire.The traditional Olan recipe does not use any onions, garlic or cummin. North Kerala/ Malabar Sadya dishes, do not use any onions or garlic. This hearty, meatless soup works for winter and reminds one of many dishes from South America and the Carribbean."

Reeni from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice created an Easy Curry Corn Soup and says, "Sometimes I get a hankering for a hot bowl of soup for lunch and nothing but homemade will satisfy me. Only a quick and uncomplicated soup will do, one that can be ready in a half an hour. This curry corn soup fills the requirements nicely. It's fast, flavorful and super delicious. Naturally sweet and succulent corn is paired with spicy curry powder giving it an earthy sweetness that is followed by a warm creeping heat in the back of your throat that slowly makes its way to your belly."

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes used some of her vast collection of chicken carcasses to make this Green Chili with Crispy Corn Tortilla Chips and says, "So, when I saw this recipe in Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster's Marketby Sara Foster, I was all over it. It called for 4 cups of cooked chicken, which in Pam-carcass-speak, translates to 2-3 carcasses. I used two. It also called for 6 cups of chicken stock, but since I was using carcasses, I just used water. It was good. Mighty fine. My only qualm is that it didn’t call for all the usual garnishes…sour cream, cheese, avocado…stuff I associate with this kind of green chili. But if you look at the picture with the pile of Monterey Jack on the top, you’ll see I felt free to add my own."

Nicole from Cocoa and Coriander: Nico's Tiny Kitchen has both a soup and a salad to share this week. About her Lentil Soup with Yam and Kale she says, "I am currently obsessed with kale ... and the current obsession began with this very soup. This soup is simply wonderful because it has kale, a green that I find holds it's texture better than other greens when stewed. And wonderful because it is loaded with lentils, another current obsession. The recipe comes from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice where Reeni's version features chickpeas rather than lentils. ... The flavor of this soup is incredible ... I want to make it again and again."

About her creative Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cantaloupe Salad with Roasted Garbanzo Beans over Quinoa Nicole says, "...I decided to substitute a winter vegetable in this spring salad: Brussels sprouts! I haven't had Brussels sprouts since Thanksgiving and I can't remember the last time I roasted them. I love how sweet they are roasted! This was a very light but filling and healthy dinner with great flavor. ... The spiced chickpeas contrast very nicely with the sweet cantaloupe and the nutty quinoa is great with the caramelized brussels sprouts. It is very simple, but that is often refreshing."

My friend and fellow Cook the Books host, Rachel, The Crispy Cook joins us this week with Broccoli and Mushroom Sandwich Melts. She says, "Tuna melts and avocado melts are treasured comfort foods in our house, but the other day when the larder was failing me (no tuna in the pantry and my avocados were hard as rocks) I came up with a great new recipe for us that will go in our sandwich pantheon. I sauteed up some broccoli florets and sliced mushrooms in garlic and oil, flopped some on some bread, covered it with grated Cheddar and into the toaster oven it went. A scrumptious surprise!"

Back for her second week and this time with a sammie is Ann from Apples and Twinkies with these Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Sandwiches. Ann says, "I love the idea of sandwiches on Saturday nights. I never know who will be here or what time everyone is going out. ... But, I like to keep it kind of healthy. Just because it's the weekend doesn't mean you have to eat badly. So, I made a chicken sandwich - a healthy chicken sandwich from Cook This, Not That. This Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Sandwich is a teriyaki-glazed chicken breast with juicy grilled pineapple. I served it on a roll with Swiss cheese slices, red onion, and pickled jalapenos. It was a big hit with the family."

So many wonderful recipes this week--many thanks to everyone who joined in. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a great week!


  1. Thanks Deb!! An excellent post as usual. I personally love cauliflower soup, my husband however, has a different opinion. This will be one for when he is out of town!

  2. nice round-up as always! everything looks perfect for the cold weather these days.

  3. Yum! Your curried cauliflower soup sounds so tasty! I do love the addition of coconut milk and I can just imagine the awesome contrast of the curried sunflower seed garnish. I want a bowl! And that tortilla soup looks like another great version...I'll have to head over there ;) Thanks for the great roundup, Deb.

  4. Nice roundup, Deb! So many cooking ideas. The cauliflower soup you made sounds quite interesting. I have some cauliflower in the fridge...

  5. So many great soup ideas! That carrot soup is just gorgeous.

  6. Wow, I could sit here all day coping soup recipes! I love the idea of your curried cauliflower soup and I love a good creamy blended soup but not always the cream and calories that go along with it. I definitely want to try this.

  7. Thanks for hosting! Great recipes to add to my list!

  8. Thanks for another great round up! Your vegan cauliflower soup just made my recipes to try list...looks so nice and warm and creamy...

  9. Anothr must try! I just love your blog to bits! I love using almond milk in cream based soups to significantly lower the fat. Coconut milk is so delicious and good for u even tho it's a bit higher in fat.... Goof fat! ;)
    I really can not wait to check out these featured blogs, there are some excellent recipes this week!
    I'm in love w Heather's lentil chorizo soup!
    Next week we're having soup every day!

  10. What a great soup round up! They all look so flavorful! I agree with you on the's a personal thing and of course the quality of the curry blend you use. I use coconut milk quite often in creamy soups, it works so well with butternut squash, pumpkin, carrot. I would love your cauliflower soup, it sounds so satisfying! Love the sunflower seeds on top. Don't you just love the ease of using the immersion blender?

    Going to check out more soups now!

  11. Curried sunflower seeds - those are three very beautiful words. Yum!

  12. wow love cauliflower in soup delicious love your recipes

  13. Great round-up, I still have a bad cold and I'm craving for hot soups like these!

  14. Curried and coconut are definite buzz words for me, so I would be all over this soup! Love that it doesn't use cream! And so do my thighs.

    I feel so much warmer just looking at this round up. Wonderful.

  15. Thanks Deb!

    I liked the sunflower seeds garnish for the soup. The round-up looks tempting too!

  16. I would've been drawn to your cauliflower soup recipe for the same reasons. The curried sunflower seeds sound delicious and are a really unique and fun topping!

    This was a very beautiful roundup and one that is making me crave soup. (I woke up feeling a bit under the weather).

  17. Curried soup yum! And I love the crunchy topping. Low in calories too, oh my! Pefect!! ~Leslie

  18. Looking for warm inspiration as we climb out of single digit temps this morning! This is a great round-up. We're loving cauliflower right now and will have to give this a try.

  19. What a fabulous, yet simple soup! I love the sub of coconut milk and I'd likely have that on hand too, but I wonder how the almond milk would be. I'm with you. I'd probably sneak in a little more curry too. :)

  20. The curried cauliflower soup appeals to me on so many levels too - love the curried pumpkin seeds over top. And what a delicious bunch of soups this week - thanks again for including mine!

  21. Oh Deb, you are so right - it's funny the way words captivate us and "creamy curried cauliflower" definitely hooks me. It looks wonderful and I love the idea of the curried sunflower seeds on top.
    Sue :-)

  22. What a fabulous round-up of soups! Now where does one begin selecting which one to prepare? Your curried cauliflower sounds like the winning choice!


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