Curried Cauliflower Soup – fresh cauliflower sautéed with onion and spices, finished in chicken stock, then puréed with a bit of milk – and topped with a colorful, crunchy mixture of bacon, cashews, cilantro and lemon zest. Scrumptious – and beautiful, too!
As you can tell from many of the recipes in my cookbooks and on this site, I love the flavor of curry. It adds warmth (including a bit of spice if you add enough) and depth to most any dish. It pairs super well with cauliflower – a favorite combination in many Indian recipes. So, one night when I was craving cauliflower and looking to create something new for Robert, I decided to sauté some chopped cauliflower with onion, fresh ginger (another favorite of mine!), curry powder and turmeric. I then added chicken broth, potato to thicken the soup and 1/2 a Granny Smith apple to provide some sweetness. (Plus, I love apple and curry together – you’ll find the combo in several of my recipes.) Lastly, I added some milk and puréed everything to a smooth consistency. Yum!
The soup on its own is delicious, but frankly sort of plain looking. So, I thought about what other flavors I like with curry and hit on cashews. In my first book, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®, there is a recipe for a cashew gremolata. With a minor change (switching out the oil for some bacon bits), I thought it would be the perfect garnish for this soup. Not only does it add color, it provides some crunch and flavors that complement the soup perfectly!
I think this Curried Cauliflower Soup is delicious as a first course before pork or alongside your favorite sandwich for a casual dinner.
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1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (around 1/2 medium)
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 cups chopped cauliflower (1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces)
1 cup peeled, thinly sliced russet potato (around 1 medium)
1/2 cup peeled, cored and chopped apple (around 1/2; Granny Smith works well)
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1 slice bacon
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted cashews
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
Kosher salt, to taste
- In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the ginger, curry powder and turmeric. Add the chopped cauliflower and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the potato, apple and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook until the cauliflower and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the milk. Set aside to cool a bit.
- While the soup is cooling, make the gremolata: Cook bacon until crisp. Crumble and place in a small bowl. Stir in cashews, cilantro and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Purée the cooled soup in an electric mixer or with an immersion blender until smooth. Return to the stockpot and heat over low heat just until warm. Season to taste with salt (takes a fair amount – close to 1 teaspoon). Ladle into bowls and top with a spoonful of the gremolata.
Make ahead: Soup can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, covered and refrigerated. Re-warm over low heat. Gremolata can be prepared up to 3 hours before serving.
Gluten free: Make sure to use gluten free chicken broth or stock.