Curried Cauliflower Soup

So, the very first thing to know about me and cooking is that I do not cook by using recipes – HA! I have a habit of throwing things into the pot –smelling spices to see what I want to add, and cooking by intuition. So, I am trying to translate that into written recipes to share with you – my advice to you is to follow the recipe, but as they say in Pirates of the Caribbean, its more “guidelines than actual rules”. Get creative in your own kitchen and see what you come up with. If you think something would make a good addition, try it out – if you prefer the flavor or texture of another vegetable, make that swap! Take these recipes as suggestions and then make them your own – post me some pictures of what you come up with, I can’t wait to see more possibilities.

I think cauliflower is way underrated — yes, it smells terrible when it sits in your fridge, and yes, it may wreak havoc on your stomach when you eat it raw, but it really does have wonderful flavor and is really versatile. I came up with this soup one day when it was gross and cold out and we needed something cozy and yummy for dinner. I get stuck in a rut and like to switch it up, so I tried for a thick and savory soup filled with unique flavors. (Be warned though – crack a window because your whole house is going to smell like that first apartment you ever had where all the hallways smelled like curry takeout!)

Make this soup as spicy as you’d like – I married a Jamaican, so we tend to run a little heavier on the spice around here. Red curry powder has some more kick to it than yellow does, so you can add more of that, add red pepper flakes, cayenne, or hot peppers to bring it up to your desired spiciness, and obviously omit all of it if you prefer to taste your food without burnt lips.

Ok, without further ado (nothing worse than clicking on a recipe, and having to READ first, eww) – here’s what to do!

Curried Cauliflower Soup            

Ingredients:

Olive oil – approx. 5 Tbsp. divided
4 cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 can garbanzo beans (15.5 oz)
1 can yellow corn (15.25 oz)
4 sausage links *kielbasa and Italian sausage work well
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground marjoram
1 tsp red curry powder
2 tsp yellow curry powder
Pinch red pepper flakes * optional
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper
Pinch of salt to taste (will need more or less depending on the type of sausage you use)
Juice of ½ a lime
32 ounces of chicken stock (stock adds a richer flavor, but you can also use broth)
Cornstarch, creamed white beans, or mashed potato flakes to thicken to desired consistency.

Optional add-ins:
Chicken, potatoes, broccoli, kale, plantains, zucchini, bacon, sour cream, coconut milk

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Combine all spices in a medium bowl and set aside.

Put medium soup pot onto burner at medium heat — Add 3 Tbsp of the olive oil. Chop and add the onion, the cloves of garlic WITH skins on, half of the spices and chopped sausages.

Let them saute for a minute or two, then add half of the beans and corn – saute until browned and aromatic.

Find your garlic cloves, fish them out, and pinch them or lightly smush them with the flat side of your knife to remove the lovely roasted garlic from the skins (roasted garlic is AMAZING!). Chop the garlic and add back to the pot.

Add broth or stock to onions, veggies and sausage. Simmer for 30 minutes while completing next steps.

Chop cauliflower into bite-sized florets – they roast better if you have a flat side to fully contact the pan. Place in the large bowl with remaining spices, add the remaining beans and corn (you would also add other veggies at this point if you’d like more) and toss veggies and spices with a drizzle of olive oil until well coated. Drizzle a cookie sheet with olive oil and place florets cut side down – even spread the rest of the veggies and beans out in a single layer (use a second sheet if you need to!)

I won’t lie to you — I did not do the separate spice-toss this time, and I wholly regret it!

Bake for 20-30 minutes until brown and roasted – stir if needed to ensure even roasting.

(Is there anything better than roasted veggies?!)

Add cornstarch, creamed white beans, or mashed potato flakes to make soup as thick as you’d like before you serve. Add roasted vegetables right before serving so they don’t get soggy and limp.

Serve with the lime juice, a dollop of sour cream, fresh cilantro and a bit of bacon if you would like! I obviously didn’t have any of the above when I made this batch, so you get a naked bowl of soup, sorry.

** To make vegetarian, omit sausage, and use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth/stock.

** To make Whole30 compliant, omit corn and beans, add kale, plantains, or other compliant veggies of your choice! Make sure your sausage is compliant, or use chicken or ground turkey to make a yummy swap.

And there you have it, my spicy, curried, deliciously savory cauliflower soup — a step out of the norm, but oh, so tasty! Enjoy!

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