Even though the majority of the recipes posted on this blog are decidedly Mediterranean in origin, every now and then, I like to include recipes from other cuisines. When working with familiar Mediterranean ingredients, I can usually predict, or at least visualize, the outcome of the final dish; recipes outside my “kitchen comfort zone” however, are not quite as predictable. So, the only way of knowing if something is a “keeper” or not is to put it through several taste testings.
I saw this recipe for cauliflower soup with turmeric and cilantro oil a few weeks ago on a British program called “Hemsley + Hemsley,” which is broadcasted on Monday evenings here on cable television. The hostesses, two sisters who are home cooks, share recipes with an emphasis on “feel good foods” and thoughtful eating. They use simple, but nutrient-dense ingredients and rather quick and uncomplicated cooking methods.
This recipe intrigued me, not only because of its stunningly bright color, but also because of its simplicity–a bunch of spices, good beef broth, a head of cauliflower and a cilantro-lemon oil to drizzle on at the finish. I have made it a few times now, tweaked a couple of ingredients, added more vegetables, took them out again, and finally determined that the simplest version was the best! This dish makes a wonderful first course or an easy light lunch to pack in a Thermos to bring to work. Definitely a “keeper” in my recipe book!
- 2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. ground coriander seeds
- ¼ tsp. crushed pepper flakes
- 1 TBSP. coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 med. onion, diced
- 1 TBSP. garlic, minced
- 1 large organic cauliflower, (about 2 lbs.)
- 6 cups bone broth (or regular beef stock, or vegetable stock)
- ½-1 tsp. sea salt
- Cilantro oil
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, minced
- 1 med. garlic clove, minced
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 TBSP. lemon juice
- 5 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Remove the leaves from the cauliflower then roughly chop the stem and the florets, set aside.
- In a medium pot, combine the spices and dry sauté (i.e., without any oil or fat) for a minute until fragrant, stirring occasionally so they do not burn.
- Next, add the oil and the chopped onion to the spice mixture and cook until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes more.
- At this point, add the chopped cauliflower, the broth and the salt to the pot and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower stems are tender when pierced with a knife.
- To make the Cilantro oil: Mince the cilantro leaves finely and place them in a small bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Let the soup cool for 5 minutes and then insert an immersion blender in the pot. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a blender – you might need to blend the soup in batches. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Return to the pot and heat again, gently. Serve the soup with a drizzle of the Cilantro oil.