Caramelised Cauliflower And Coconut Soup
Creamy, rich, thick, and aromatic. Made with this roasted cauliflower, coconut milk, cilantro and inspired by the flavours of south-east asia. This soup is a bowl full of comfort on a cold winters day.
For a long time it was kale. Than for a good while it was beetroot. But now its cauliflower. If there were charts for the most popular vegetables than cauliflower would definitely be number one and top of the pile. If cauliflower was an actor than he’d be big box office, if a singer than there would be millions of downloads from iTunes.
Yes indeed, plain old cauliflower is enjoying a surge of popularity at the moment and over the past couple of months I’ve noticed a ton of very interesting and innovative recipes for this humble vegetable. No longer is it served as an after thought with your sunday roast. Instead its taking centre stage and innovative cooks are turning it into souffles, croquettes, cakes, and pizza crust.
All this suits me fine as I’m cauliflowers no 1 fan. I love pimping out the classic cauliflower Mornay. Two of my favourite thing to do to it are adding a nice dollop of english mustard to a creamy bechamel, before pouring it over some cauliflower and gratinating it with a good mature cheddar. Or how about smothering some cauliflower in a white sauce infused with ripe Roquefort and a big bunch of chives.
This soup is another thing you could whip up with a cauliflower and is very comforting during the winter months. When its freezing cold outside it really hits the spot. Creamy, thick, rich, and aromatic. It sticks to your insides filling you with warmth.
It’s dead simple to make too. Just a handful of ingredients are needed and there’s no chopping or sweating of vegetables involved.
To make this soup you do something you’d not normally do to a cauliflower. You roast it at full blast in your oven till it’s a deep, rich, caramelised brown colour. It always amazes me how roasting vegetable transforms their flavour. You end up with a more interesting, nutty, roasted flavour than if you’d boiled them.
Normally you’d probably do this with the beautiful roots that are in season at the moment but it works well with cauliflower too. Just cut the cauliflower into florets that are quite small, so that there’s more surface area to caramelise and you get more of a nutty flavour. The sesame oil helps with this too. Make sure to chop up the hard center stalk of the cauliflower and roast it too…its my favourite bit and adds to the flavour and creamy texture of the soup.
Once you’ve finished roasting the cauliflower it’s a simple matter to transfer it to a pot. Than add the coconut milk and chicken stock ( or vegetable for the non meat eaters out there) Simmer it for 10 minutes and blitz it till smooth and creamy. Simple, and you have a rich foursome soup ideal for a winter’s day.
The great thing about roasting cauliflower and making a soup like this is that all the nutritional value is retained and doesn’t get thrown out with the water like if you just boiled it. So you still get all that dietary fiber and vitamin c. If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits of eating cauliflower than check out this awesome article on wellbeing secrets.
Another thing to note about this recipe is that in makes about 2 litres of soup. Quite a lot, so you could cut the recipe in half as long as you can find a use for the other half head of cauliflower.
There’s a purple variety of cauliflower that i’m looking forward to trying with some of the great recipe I’m finding around the internet. I’m betting it would produce some dishes with a really strange and interesting colour. Unfortunately this purple breed of cauliflower is turning out to be a bit elusive and I can’t get my hands on any.
What about you…..Do you have any good cauliflower recipes?
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) of sesame oil
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 725ml (1.25 pint) coconut milk
- 725ml (1.25 pint) chicken or veg stock
- 1 small bunch of coriander (cilantro)
- Preheat your oven to 200c / 400f.
- Next pour the sesame oil on to a roasting tray and place it in the oven to heat up.
- While your oil is heating prepare your cauliflower by separating it into small florets. Chop up the stalky bit from the center because you're going to roast it and put it in the soup too.
- When the sesame oil is hot add the cauliflower, coat it well in the oil, and roast it in the hot oven for 20/30 minutes tossing it occasionally so it goes a nice even caramel colour.
- When your cauliflower is ready remove it from the oven and drain well. Set aside some of the golden cauliflower to use as a garnish and to add a bit of texture to the soup later.
- Transfer the rest of the cauliflower to a pot and pour over the coconut milk and chicken stock.
- Bring the soup to the boil, add the coriander, then simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Liquidise the soup in a food processor till its smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the pot and add a little salt and some black pepper.
- To serve pour the soup into bowls and garnish with some of the reserved caramelised cauliflower and sprigs of cilantro.
You can make this suitable for non meat eaters by using vegetable stock