Sunday, October 7, 2012

Soothing Cauliflower Soup with Coriander, Cumin & Turmeric for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Yes, I did just make a soup from Madhur Jaffrey last Sunday,  but... I was flipping through Madhur Jaffrey's Spice Kitchen as our I Heart Cooking Clubs theme this week is Spice Bazaar, and I knew I had to make this Soothing Cauliflower Soup with Coriander, Cumin and Turmeric.

I caught some sort of nasty flu bug this week and with a completely stopped up head, fever and overall feeling not-so-hot, all I have wanted to eat is soup With my taster not working so well, soup with strong flavor is needed. This recipe blends aromatics and spices to give what could be a pretty basic cauliflower-potato soup it plenty of taste. Jaffrey's recipe uses chicken stock and cream, I replaced it with veggie broth and non-dairy cashew cream to make a vegan version. 

Jaffrey says, "If there is a trinity of the most commonly used dry spices, it is surely ground cumin, ground coriander, and turmeric. Often they are used together and some kind of ground chillies are invariably added to the threesome to provide heat. As they are powdery and can burn easily, it is a good idea to have them all measured into a small bowl before you start. They go into the pot together and cook very briefly, with just a quick stir to take away their raw taste. Keep the ingredients that follow at hand to prevent burning. 

This dish also contains the favoured Indian trinity of fresh seasonings; onion, garlic and ginger. In this recipe ginger predominates, adding a pungent freshness."

Soothing Cauliflower Soup with Coriander
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's Spice Kitchen
(Serves 4-6)

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
a 2.5 cm (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled & cut into fine slivers
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
pinch cayenne pepper
225 g (1/2 lb) potatoes, peeled & cut into rough 1cm (1/2-inch) cubes
225 g (1/2 lb) cauliflower flowerets
1.75 litres (3 pints) chicken stock (I used veggie broth)
salt as needed
250 ml (8 fl oz) double cream (I used cashew cream)

Heat the oil over a fairly high heat in a large saucepan. When hot, put in the onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir-fry for about 4 minutes, or until the onions are somewhat browned. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir once and add the potatoes, cauliflower, and chicken stock. If the stock is unsalted, add 1/2 tsp salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Taste for salt, adding more if desired. 

Put the soup into a blender, in two or more batches as required, and blend thoroughly. Strain, pushing down to get all the pulp. (I omitted this step--didn't feel like I needed it after the Vita-Mix blended the soup.) Add the cream and mix. The soup may now be reheated and served.

Jaffrey's Note: This soup may be served as an elegant first course at a grand dinner or as part of a simple lunch accompanied, perhaps, by a sandwich or salad or both. It may be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Reheat slowly over fairly low heat.   

Notes/Results: Very silky, very full of flavor--an excellent cauliflower soup. The mixture of the spices is good--the slight sweetness of the coriander with the smokiness of the cumin and a little punch of heat from the cayenne, then the ginger and garlic adding their distinctive flavor. I'm am not sure with the potato and cauliflower if it truly needs the cream--or cashew cream in this case but it certainly made it even more smooth and rich. I would make this again.

This soup will be linked up to the Spice Bazaar post at IHCC come tomorrow. You'll be able to see all the spice-filled Jaffrey dishes the other participants try by clicking on the post links. 

Now let's check out who is in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week.

Lea Ann of Cooking on the Ranch has a hearty bowl of Sherried Black Bean and Ham Soup to share and says, "I’ve made this soup for years. It’s one of those easy weeknight dinners that’s steaming in the bowl and on the table in a flash. Canned black beans and fully cooked ham steak cooperate in making this a speedy meal. With just a quick saute of sliced carrots and chopped onions, everything is ready for a simmer. A quarter cup of Sherry adds a splash of sophistication. This is one of our favorites."

Simona of briciole made this prettily-garnished Jota: Bean, Sauerkraut and Potato Soup and says, "This soup has a very interesting flavor, definitely influenced by the sauerkraut. I enjoyed a small dose of it, like in the photo. The next time I make it, I will try rinsing the sauerkraut first, as Frank suggests. I cannot say that my jota was overly sour, but this being my first taste of it, I don't have a standard of comparison. So, definitely this is a story to be continued..."

Finally, Janet of The Taste Space
brings us this healthy meal in a bowl with The Best Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Adzuki Bean and Quinoa Kale Salad. Janet says, "...this recipe is a knock-off of Fresh‘s All-Star Tabbouleh Salad with adzuki beans and quinoa. Sadly, I give very few stars to the salad. But, all is not lost because extra stars go to the absolute best roasted sweet potatoes ever. I know, a very ballsy statement. I have a witness. Rob agreed with me."

Mahalo to Lea Ann, Simona and Janet for sharing their soups and salad this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details,

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I hope you get well soon, Deb. You certainly chose a nice soup to help you on the road to recovery. I am a big fan of cauliflower soup and this one sound very nice, with its combination of spices.

  2. Joanne (eats well with others)October 8, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    I say the more soup the merrier! I love the flavors in this cauliflower soup...they seem comforting to me as most Indian medleys do!

  3. Hope you're feeling better soon! The soup sounds delicious, and the cashew cream sounds much better than cow cream.

  4. Mmm, very warming indeed! Great way to spice up a cool evening.

  5. We are all sick with colds here. Perhaps this soup will help. The way you describe the silky texture--my sore throat will thank you.

  6. this soup would definitely heal what ails you. Great pick.

  7. This sounds and looks delicious!
    Hope you get well soon! This bowl of soup is just what you need !

  8. Couscous & ConsciousnessOctober 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Oh, Deb, so sorry you've been sick - flu is no fun at all. This soup sounds like the perfect sustenance though - looks beautifully creamy and velvety, and I love that combination of spices with cauliflower.

  9. At dinner last night Soothing Cauliflower Soup started off the meal. Second servings were consumed before the main course mde it to the table. One of the best soups we encountered. Much Thanks.


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