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It’s funny, even though it is summer or the tail end of it at least, I am still in the mood for a warming winter soup. I make thick lentil soups, spiced sweet potato soups and rich tomato stews during winter. But it feels wrong to copy those winter soup characteristics into summer. Yesterday I hand a hankering for cauliflower soup. But I wanted a thick, rich soup to eat on the sofa while watching movies and with the curtains drawn. It was just one of those days and I needed warming comfort. So I decided to make my spiced cauliflower soup and much to my surprise it fits both the winter and the summer seasons to a T.

What started out as a simple meal ended up being a little more work than expected. With most of my soup recipes, I oven roast the vegetable components first and then simmer into a soup, this was no different. It only requires chopping and stirring. Not much needs to be thought about except to remember to take the vegetables out of the oven, which for some of us (me that is) I quite often do forget because I go off and hang washing, make a call or start talking to the dog and get distracted. Believe me, the dog and I have some quite interesting, heated and distracting conversations. But not this time. I managed to be on top of the cooking and was right of schedule to start to assemble and simmer the soup base, when I discovered the missing tin opener. D had asked me a while ago where it was and I presumed he finally found it as dinner was produced but it seems that we have been missing this key kitchen tool for a while now. What house doesn’t have a tin opener? I of course panic rang my mother to ask was there any way to open a tin without the opener and she of course laughed and said no. But the twist in the fiasco of yesterdays soup making is the dog. You guessed it, the dog took and (we can only presume) buried the tin opener. She has been quite fond of her kitchen gadgets recently. Only last week she ate the potato peeler and the metal plug for the sink. It is possible we lost it, but I highly doubt this and besides the dog looked very guilty and slinked off when she realised what I was looking for. A trip to the shop was made and after an hours interval, soup making was resumed. Phew! Drama aside, the soup was worth it.

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SPICED CAULIFLOWER SOUP

This soup calls for full fat coconut milk. Believe me when I say it is not as full of flavour or aroma with half fat coconut milk. It is also more liquid. If you want to use half or low fat coconut milk, lower the amount of stock used by 100 ml.

  • 1 Large head of cauliflower (roughly 800 g)
  • 2 onions (1 red, 1 yellow), chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes or more if you like it hotter
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400 ml  can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

THE HOW

Heat the oven to 170 C (fan oven)

Cut or tear the cauliflower into florets, it really doesn’t matter what shape they are as long as there roughly uniform in shape. Cut the onions into big chunks and place the onion and the cauliflower in a roasting dish. Add oil and mix. Sprinkle the spices on top and gently mix just to coat the cauliflower. Pop this into the oven for 15 minutes just to help soften the vegetable and to bring out the flavour of the spices.

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When the 15 minutes are up, take the tray and put the contents into a large saucepan. Add the stock and the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

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We like our soup slightly thick and chunky. Put half the soup in a blender and blitz till smooth. Add this back into the chunky half, or you can use a hand held blender and just gently blitz it. If you don’t like it too thick, you can add more stock and reheat to blend.

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Serve with a squeeze of lime juice, a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle of coriander.

I’m super lucky as I had my mothers amazing brown bread to hand so we gobbled up the two together.

Hope you enjoy x

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