meatless . #43 {curried cauliflower soup}

Oh. My. Gosh. You have to try this soup. We had family visiting the past several days and last night went out for dinner to a local neighborhood restaurant, Crow. This was their soup du jour. I scarfed it down then promptly announced, “More soup, please.” And if I could have cancelled my entree order quick enough, I would have totally had another bowl {or two} and been happy happy! The chef was kind enough to share his recipe, which I adapted to make it totally meatless swapping the chicken stock for vegetable stock, added cumin seeds and some sugar because after the soup was complete it was missing the wonderful sweetness of the restaurant version. It is so yummy. I kid you not. 

Curried Cauliflower Soup
serves 8

2 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
4 tbsp. olive oil
¾ tsp. coriander seeds
¾ tsp. cumin seeds
2 leeks, white + light green parts only, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ tsp. tumeric
½ tsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. madras curry
7 cups vegetable stock {or chicken stock}
1 cup half and half
½ cup creme fraiche
3 tbsp. salt {or to taste}
3 tbsp. sugar {or to taste}
paprika

Heat oven to 425º. Toss cauliflower in 2 tbsp. of olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes, or until florets just start to brown.

In a small saute pan over medium high heat, toast coriander and cumin seeds for 1 -2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer seeds to a small piece of cheesecloth and using cooking twine create a small spice packet. Set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottom pot, heat remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks  and garlic cooking for 5 minutes or until the leeks soften but do not brown.  Add cauliflower pieces, tumeric, ginger and curry. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add seed packet and stock. Raise heat and bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove cheesecloth satchel and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Add half and half and creme fraiche; stir to fully incorporate. Add 2 tbsp. the salt and sugar, taste, add remaining or more of each to taste. 

Divide into bowls, garnishing with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of paprika. 

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