Curried Cauliflower Soup

When I was a little girl I was fascinated with the way that the cauliflower florets all came together to make such creamy white clusters and then a head.  At first glance it appears solid but inside is a maze of tiny little branches.  It is one of my favorite vegetables.  I was happy that cauliflower, along with leeks and carrots have been in our weekly vegetable and fruit basket for the last few weeks!

At the same time, I received an email from the Tasting Table and William Sonoma Sous Chef Series.  Each month a sous chef from a popular restaurant around the country is featured along with a recipe and demonstration.   It has been fun.   In February, Chef Chris Bradley former Executive Sous Chef of Gramercy Tavern was featured along with a recipe for Curried Cauliflower Soup!  I love it when things come together so nicely!

We loved the soup and the leftover soup!  The layers of flavors in the soup accompanied by the flavorful yogurt and lime drizzle on top...totally wonderful!!

I checked out a number of recipes to compare ingredients and decided that the first time out....I should just do it as written.

Curried Cauliflower Soup
by chef Chris Bradley
Gramercy Tavern, New York

Yield:  4 servings (Very generous servings...)

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

Reserve for garnish:  1 cup of the small cauliflower florets, 1/4 cup of onion, 1/4 cup of leeks and 1/4 cup of carrots.

In a large pot, warm 1/4 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.

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 piece 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.

Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.  Remove the cheesecloth bundle, then puree the soup until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I used my hand blender to puree the soup.) Keep the soup warm in the pot.

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.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil and lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the hot soup among 6 deep bowls, garnish with the reserved vegetables and drizzle with the yogurt mixture.  Serve immediately.

We had the soup with Savory Cheese and Chive Bread.  I was a lovely meal!

I am participating in Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Designs by Gollum.  Hop on over and see what wonderful dishes are being prepared this week!

I am also linking to Fat Camp Friday hosted by Miranda at Mangoes and Chutney.

This recipe was shared at Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday at The Saturday Evening Pot.  Join the celebration among Foodies of our love for food.

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