Full disclosure: I don’t really like cauliflower. My husband *really* doesn’t like it. So whenever I get it in my CSA bag, I have to really think long and hard about how to make it palatable to at least one of us, if not both. Lucky for me, my good friend Vanessa recently got back from a trip to India and kindly brought me back the most amazing curry powder in the universe. I know that cauliflower is in a lot of Indian dishes, and curried cauliflower sounded promising.
To be fair, cauliflower does have a lot to offer. In spite of what I keep saying about colorful food being good for you, this colorless brain-shaped vegetable is linked with cancer prevention, as well as cardiovascular and digestive health. It’s extremely high in vitamin C, and packs a lot of fiber. So it deserves its place on the healthy produce family tree.
If you have some really good Indian spices in your pantry (even if they don’t come from a friend who went to India), you can make a soup like this one and let cauliflower try to work its way into your repertoire. To liven things up and add a little texture, I made some home made croutons (from home made whole grain bread, no less! But store bought is of course acceptable) and seasoned them with garam masala.
While I can’t pretend this is some kind of authentic Indian dish, it is tasty and interesting. And if you make extra croutons, they’ll be great on salad, too. This makes a great first course before a main meal. If you really love cauliflower, you’ll want to make this the main course.
Curried Cauliflower Soup with Garam Masala Croutons (serves 2-3)
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 3/4 tsp salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups cubed whole grain bread
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1. Preheat oven to 425. Lay the cauliflower florets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, and season with the curry powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Toss to combine. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring them around about halfway through, until golden brown and tender. If they are browning too fast, reduce the heat.
2. Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes with 1/2 tbsp (that’s 1 1/2 tsp) olive oil and the garam masala, along with another 1/4 tsp salt. Lay out on a baking sheet and put them in the oven with the cauliflower for about 12 minutes, stirring them around about halfway through. When they are browned and crunchy, remove from oven and let cool while the cauliflower finishes cooking.
3. When everything is out of the oven, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and tender. Add the cooked cauliflower and stir to combine, then add the chicken broth. It should come to nearly the top of the cauliflower – if it doesn’t, add some water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Let simmer for about 5 minutes so the flavors combine.
4. Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and puree. (You can use a hand blender, but I found it difficult to puree the larger pieces of cauliflower since there isn’t that much liquid in this recipe.) Return to the pot and stir in the remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Add more salt to taste if needed.
5. Serve the soup topped with the croutons.