Curried Cauliflower Soup

In the instance of having no dinner plans and a lot of random ingredients around the house, finally being able to relax at home for the first time this week, and a cold wet day, I decided to make soup. My mom had given me a giant head of cauliflower on my departure back to Keene the weekend before and I was anxious to experiment with it before it went bad, or freezes over like many things in my fridge seem to do. I knew I really wanted to make soup and try out my newly bought curry powder spice so I browsed through the internet and betted on a Martha Stewart recipe for Curried Cauliflower Soup.

The ingredients involved:

1 head cauliflower cut into florets

3 onions, sliced 1 inch thick

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 ½ teaspoons curry powder

4 cups water

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

My only missing ingredient:  onions so, I preheated the oven to 450 degrees and placed the cauliflower florets with vegetable oil and salt and roasted them in the oven until they turned brown (about 20 min.) I then excitedly skipped over to Monadnock Co-op for 3 sweet onions while the roasted cauliflower cooled (excitedly due to the fact that I had just received an email offering me the magazine editor position I had applied for a month prior to and figured I would not hear back about, thus giving me the option of staying in New Hampshire post graduation. As you continue to read, keep in mind the emotional flood of thoughts that were running through my mind while administering this recipe.)

After I chopped the onions, I melted melted the butter in a pretty large saucepan that I also use for chili. I added the onions and cooked until soft. I then stirred in the curry powder, cauliflower florets, water, and chicken broth. The smell was mouth-wateringly savory and intoxicating. I covered the saucepan to allow the flavors to mix together until they came to a boil. Uncover, lower heat, let simmer for five minutes, and watch the steamy yellow broth become something beautiful.

Next, I took my own spin on the recipe. Martha Stewart instructed me to next use a slotted spoon to transfer 3 cups of cauliflower to a bowl and set aside, and to then put the remaining florets into a blender with salt and process until smooth. The recipe then says to stir puree into the broth.

However, when I was about to do that, I was hesitant. It seemed strange to mix a thick, creamy substance of the puree into a watery broth, because the puree would separate and float to the top. I followed the instructions with only a small portion and what I expected to happen, happened.

Instead, I went for a consistency more like butternut squash soup. I transferred small amounts of cauliflower and the broth (still rich in texture from the onions) and blended it together. I would then transfer the soup into a Tupperware and add the rest of the cauliflower and broth to the blender. If you put too much in the blender at a time, the top will explode off due to the heat of the liquid.

As an end result, I had a thick, creamy curried cauliflower soup as opposed to Martha’s thin, liquidly soup with giant cauliflower chunks. My soup was delicious; curry and cauliflower work extremely well together because cauliflower is so bland yet absorbent for flavors. The curry was not too strong as I feared it may be, but was subtle and heartwarming on a rainy weeknight.

I will definitely make this recipe again, and have suggested it to many people. One thing I may do differently next time is use more cauliflower, so the soup is even thicker.

And I apologize that there are no pictures with this recipe. I didn’t take any either based on the turmoil of considerations I had in mind about taking a job in Keene that would require me to completely support myself and permanently leave home and barely save money, or based on the unconscious knowledge that the soup, although creamy and flavorful, is rather an ugly color.

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