Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Winter Warmer

It's officially winter in Southern California.  What that really means is that we've encountered a few sprinkles and the temperature has dropped to 50 degrees in the morning.  I'm not going to complain; we've got it good.  You may actually think I'm crazy when I say this but I actually miss a good ol' Nor'Easter.  You know, the kind of storm that looks good from the inside of a frosted window.  The kind  that calls for snow days and a steaming cup of hot chocolate.  So to remind myself of those blustery nights, I like to cook up a big pot of soup.  I found this recipe on Tasting Table, a subscription site that dubs itself the "free daily email for adventurous eaters everywhere."  In other words, it's well-edited site full of local dining, wine, shopping, recipe and food travel recommendations.

A recent post featured former sous chef Chris Bradley from famed NYC restaurant Gramercy Tavern and his delicious recipe for Curry Cauliflower soup.  Consequently, he is now running the show at a new restaurant in the Whitney Museum of American Art.

I changed the recipe according to my specifications.  Instead of vegetable stock I used chicken stock and I omitted the yogurt (b/c I don't like mixing any dairy in my soup).

Hope you like!

Curry Cauliflower Soup

Yield: 6 Servings


  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets (about 10 cups)
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • ½ leek, white and light green parts only, diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 large carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Reserve 1 cup of small cauliflower florets, ¼ cup of onion, ¼ cup of leeks and ¼ cup of carrots for garnish.
2. In a large pot, warm ¼ cup of the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the remaining onion, leek and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have begun to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until soft, about 10 minutes longer.
3. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, combine the coriander and cumin seeds and toast until they are fragrant and slightly browned, about 2 minutes. In a square of cheesecloth, combine the toasted seeds and the cilantro and tie into a bundle, securing it with a piece of kitchen twine. Add the spice bundle, turmeric, curry powder and garlic to the vegetables in the pot and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add the vegetable stock, bring a simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth bundle, then puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the puree to the pot and keep warm.
5. In a large skillet, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the reserved cauliflower, onion, leek and carrots and cook until the vegetables are just tender and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve.
6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil and lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Divide the hot soup among 6 deep bowls, garnish with the reserved vegetables and drizzle with the yogurt mixture. Serve immediately.


Jennifer Wells said...

Looks yummy! Great composition on your photo too.

miss mara said...

Thanks! Yeah, it was a tasty soup. Good way to make cauliflower more appealing to eat!