For this deeply satisfying soup, chefs Anna Trattles and Alice Quillet roast cauliflower with cumin seeds and curry powder to intensify the flavor, then simmer it with onion and water to make an unfussy, spice-inflected puree.
Slideshow: Great Vegetarian Soup Recipes
1 medium head of cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds)—halved, cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch florets
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup sunflower or grapeseed oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
1/4 cup whole milk
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375º. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the cumin seeds, curry powder and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until the cauliflower is just tender.
In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted cauliflower, butter, bay leaf and water and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat until the liquid is reduced and the cauliflower is very soft, about 15 minutes. Pick out and discard the bay leaf.
In a blender, puree the soup in two batches until very smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the milk. Rewarm it over moderate heat, adding more water for a thinner consistency, if desired. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve hot.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
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