It’s not exactly soup weather in Austin yet. The temperature is still annoyingly hovering in the high 80s, and the stack of (super cute) sweaters I bought a few weeks ago sits on my shelf, mocking me and the life choices that brought me to the land of perpetual flip flops and the (questionable) glory of swimming holes.
But that doesn’t mean that I can’t eat soup.
In fact, I’m eating my soup so defiantly, I’m eating it for breakfast. Soup in the a.m. is an easy, cheater way to get extra vegetables into my belly, and it’s a good stand-in for coffee or tea: it’s comforting, warm, cozy, and bonus! it gets eaten instead of drunk. (‘Cause being drunk that early in the morning would be a bad way to start the day.)
With this soup, cauliflower proves once again that it is the ultimate magical vegetable. This puréed soup is creamy, smooth, and fluffy — like pillows and happy clouds and Smudge. It’s great topped with herbs (dried or fresh chives, Penzeys Fox Point Seasoning, freshly chopped parsley), spices (cinnamon and nutmeg, Ras el Hanout, Penzeys Tsardust Memories), or luscious fat (a little melted ghee or extra-virgin olive oil, finely chopped nuts or pine nuts). Slurp!
This recipe appears in my cookbook Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat.
Golden Cauliflower Soup
Serves 4-6 | Prep 10 min | Cook 60 min
1 large head cauliflower (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 large carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
extra-virgin olive oil + ground nutmeg
minced parsley + chopped walnuts
toasted, slivered almonds + ghee
minced dried dates + chopped pecans
1. Wash and core the cauliflower, then coarsely chop. Set aside.
2. Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, carrots, and garlic. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped cauliflower and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the broth and water, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes.
4. Working in batches, carefully transfer the cauliflower and some of the broth to a blender or food processor. Cover the top with a dish towel to protect yourself from splatters, and purée the cauliflower until smooth, adding more broth as necessary.
5. Pour the purée back into the soup pot, then add the salt, pepper, and coconut milk. Stir to combine and cook over medium until heated through. Serve immediately with garnishes, or store covered in the refrigerator. To reheat, warm the soup gently over medium-low heat until bubbly.
I tried adding herbs and spices during cooking, but got the best results when I kept the soup plain and added seasonings at the end as garnishes as recommended above. I also experimented with chicken broth, beef broth, water, and different combos of all three for the base of this soup; the hands-down winner was beef broth. The versions made with chicken broth (and celery) ended up tasting too much like gravy. (If you’re looking for a healthy gravy you can ladle over chicken or turkey, cut this recipe in half, add a stalk of celery with the carrot/onion and use all chicken broth for the liquid.)
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