There are certain vegetables I get quite excited about when they arrive in my weekly veg box. Like celeriac or asparagus. Or Jerusalem artichokes. But cauliflower? Whenever I see a cauliflower in there I must admit to giving out an internal groan. Cauliflower cheese again? is generally my immediate thought.
But the last time a cauliflower turned up, I decided to try and be a little more creative. I’ve tried making cauliflower curries a few times but they’ve never been wholly satisfying, although I know the idea of spicy cauliflower is a good one. A quick search on the internet led me to this very tasty and spicy cauliflower soup recipe, which elevates the humble cauliflower to heady new heights. I found it on the Oxford Times website but apparently it first originated from a recipe in the Women’s Institute’s book Soup for all Seasons.
It’s incredibly easy to make and, despite looking quite a heavy soup, is surprisingly light and very fragrant. I swapped the Thai green curry paste for the red version, as it’s slightly milder and hence more child-friendly. I also used low-fat coconut milk but feel free to go full-fat if you prefer.
I served the soup with garlic and coriander bread. Again, very simple. Slice your baguette all the way along on the diagonal at intervals of an inch or so, just as you would for normal garlic bread. Fill each slash with a generous spread of butter into which you’ve mashed crushed garlic and chopped fresh coriander. Wrap the baguette in foil and bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes. To brown it slightly, open up the foil for the last couple of minutes. Easy as.
But now back to the main event…
Thai-style cauliflower soup
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp red Thai curry paste
1 potato, peeled and diced small
1 cauliflower, broken into florets
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
400ml tin of low-fat coconut milk
300ml vegetable stock
Small bunch fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Spring onions, finely sliced to garnish
In a large saucepan, gently cook the onion in the oil until golden. Add the red curry paste and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
Stir in the coconut milk and stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the potato, cauliflower and garlic and simmer for 15 minutes. Leave to cool a while.
Add the coriander to the soup and pour half into a liquidiser. Blitz until you achieve a smooth velvety finish, and then stir this back into the chunky soup in the pan. Check for seasoning and add if required.
Heat through again and serve garnished with a sprinkling of spring onions, and warm garlic and coriander bread on the side.