Gail Ciampa: Curried cauliflower soup gets creaminess from coconut
I’m currently obsessed with all things coconut. So when my pal Ellen Brown shared this cauliflower soup recipe with me, I was thrilled to see coconut milk in the list of ingredients. It’s a great alternative to soy if you want to avoid cow’s milk. It adds a creaminess to this dish.
I also love the combo of curry spice with coconut. It is a classic pairing in several of my favorite Indian recipes.
Yet this recipe comes from New Mexico, not India. It’s adapted from a soup made at a restaurant called Slurp. It’s not so much a restaurant but a silver trailer along a road in Santa Fe. Think a Western version of Haven Brothers.
Curried Cauliflower and Fennel Soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder, or to taste
2 heads cauliflower, broken into 1-inch florets
3 cups vegetable stock
2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the fennel, and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are golden brown. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add the cauliflower and stock to the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup, partially covered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
Allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. If using a food processor this may have to be done in batches.
Return the soup to the pot and add the coconut milk. Bring it back to a simmer over medium heat and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Note: The soup can be prepared up to two days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Makes 8 servings.
Reprinted from “Soup of the Day” by Ellen Brown
Gail Ciampa is food editor of The Providence (Rhode Island) Journal. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @gailciampa.