Thursday, February 24, 2011

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Sometimes your plans don’t always work out.  I am the kind of person who, when there’s a plan, I tend to psych myself up about it.  Then, if said plan does not end up working out, I get really disappointed.  And mad.  That’s why I hate it when people say they’re going to do something, or go somewhere, and then don’t.  I just hate getting my hopes up!

In quite a round-about-way this soup is the result of plans that didn’t end up, and hopes that were dashed.  You see, a certain new food truck in Nashville, one whose food I love, (and don’t want to speak badly of so I won’t name them) tweeted they would be in a certain area of town the next day selling their food at lunchtime.  I got REALLY excited!  They were coming to OUR part of town; they’d never been within walking distance from our work!  I know my coworkers and I get tired of the same selection of lunching establishments, whether we eat out often or not.  Most of us don’t have the ability to drive to another part of town just to grab lunch, we have to go places within walking distance.  So, I emailed a long list of coworkers first thing the following morning, to let them know about the deliciousness coming our way.  I raved about this food truck.  I then tried to find out the exact location the food truck would be parked.  After some digging (much more difficult than it should have been), I discovered, the actual location was in fact nowhere NEAR our area of town.  I.WAS.MAD.  Mad that I couldn’t eat the yumminess, and mad I looked like a fool for telling everyone it was coming here!

You see, I almost always bring my lunch to work.  It’s healthier, and cheaper than eating out.  Because of the “special occasion” of the food truck coming, I didn’t pack a lunch that day.  That just ADDED to my annoyance!  So, come lunch time I went on foot in search of where I would eat.  I ended up stopping in an adorable little cafe, Provence, I sometimes forget is there.  They have a couple locations throughout town, I tend to frequent a different location.  They rotate soup selections, and as soon as I saw Curried Cauliflower Soup, I instantly knew what I was eating for lunch!  Paired alongside a half sized brie, ham, & green apple panini, I had QUITE an incredible lunch!  It was so delicious, my anger at the food truck melted away.  I wrapped up my lunch quickly, so I would have some extra free time to search for a copycat recipe!

What I’ve learned from this experiences is… when God shuts the door he opens the window.  Or… there’s a silver-lining?  I’m not quite sure!  What I do know is I need to take silly little let-downs like failed lunch plans a little easier, and just let them roll off of me.  Besides, if I HADN’T planned on eating the food truck that day, I would have brought my lunch, like normal, and never had the opportunity to discover this delicious soup.

I found a version of this soup on Martha Stewart’s website, and after making it following the instructions, it wasn’t a close enough version to what I had at Provence.  So I upped the cauliflower, and downgraded the onion, and tweaked it about more.  What I ended up with was a delicious soup I’ve ate over & over.  When paired with naan (or crackers) & hummus, it makes quite a filling & healthy lunch!  The pureeing of half of the cauliflower really thickens the soup up.  This soup is pretty light on the curry.  If you’re new to exotic spices, this seems like the perfect introduction to curry.  If you’re a curry-flavor lover, then you could up the ante even more.


Curried Cauliflower Soup


2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets (about 8 cups)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped butter
1 onion, sliced 1 inch thick (note, I prefer to remove as much onion before purreeing, so I like to slice them really thick)
2 teaspoons (or more) curry powder
4 cups water
2 cups reduced-sodium canned chicken or vegetable broth
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss cauliflower with vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread out, and roast until the florets turn brown, about 25 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder, cauliflower, water, and broth; cover, and bring to a boil. Uncover, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer 4 cups cauliflower to a bowl, and set aside. Put remaining florets into a blender or food processor, add 1 teaspoon salt, and process until smooth. At this point I also chose to remove the onions. (You can keep them in if you like, it's just a texture thing to me.) Stir puree into broth in pan, and reheat if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls, and top with reserved florets and parsley.

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