Virginia Woolf said of soup: ” Soup is cuisine’s kindest course.”
That is certainly the way I feel about soup. I confess that I enjoy making soup often and find comfort in eating it. I almost always begin a dinner party–even a casual one– with a soup course. I think a bowl of soup eases my guests into the mood to enjoy a meal.
This Carrot and Cauliflower Soup is a keeper. It is pretty and it is flavorful. And, of course, you get a good serving of a healthy cruciferous vegetable in every bowl. Cauliflower, as you know, is low in calories and carbs, so it is an easy fit into a healthy diet.
This soup is creamy, too–even if you don’t succumb to the temptation of add a bit of cream or half-and-half to the finished product. I found that I enjoyed a pretty swirl of heavy cream stirred into my soup at the last minute, but I’m not sure whether it was a flavor enhancement or an aesthetic one.
- 1 T. coriander seeds
- 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil (more for serving)
- 1 large white onion (peeled and diced)
- 2 large garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 5 medium carrots (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 1/2 t. kosher salt (to taste)
- 3 T. white miso
- 1 small head of cauliflower (trimmed and cut into florets)
- 1/2 t. lemon zest
- 2 T. lemon juice (to taste)
- Smoky chile powder or smoky paprika (for garnish)
- Coarse sea salt (for serving)
- Cilantro leaves (for garnish)
- Toast coriander seeds in a large heated soup pot with no oil until seeds are medium golden-brown. This will take 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the seeds. After toasting the seeds, grind them until they are very fine a food grinder or coffee mill (a dedicated one for spices). Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add diced white onion and sauté until the onion is soft and beginning to color. This will take about 10 minutes. Add chopped garlic to your pot and cook with the onion for one minute.
- Add carrots, ground coriander, salt and six cups of water to the soup pot. Heat the mixture to a simmer and then add the three tablespoons of white miso to the broth. Stir the broth until the miso is dissolved. Simmer this mixture for about five minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and cover your pot. Cook over medium heat until the cauliflower (and other vegetables) are tender. This will take about ten minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat. Let the mixture cool. Puree soup with a blender or an immersion blender. You want the soup to be a velvety smooth puree. When I used the immersion blender for this process, my soup retained more texture. I preferred the soup prepared this way rather than pureed in my blender.
- Add lemon zest and lemon juice just before serving.
- Drizzle with fine quality extra virgin olive oil and garnish with chopped cilantro. smoked chile and coarse salt. (Alternatively, swirl a bit of heavy cream into the soup just before serving and garnish with cilantro, chile and salt.)
Here is the link to the original Melissa Clark recipe upon which this recipe is based: Melissa Clark’s Cauliflower and Carrot Soup.