This soup is both hearty and light at the same time, as well as being high in fiber and other nutrients. It also comes together very quickly for a weeknight supper. This recipe flavors the soup with curry spices, but the basic recipe is really flexible. You could substitute Spanish, Greek, or Middle Eastern spice mixtures and it would work equally well. I fried some shallots for a crispy topping but you could just as easily add toasted nuts, sliced scallions, or even a sprinkle of cheese–whatever catches your fancy.
1 T. and 1 t. canola or vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 to 1 ½ t. finely chopped or grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. curry powder (choose whatever is your favorite–I used half garam masala and half vindaloo)
½ t. cumin powder
1 ½ t. kosher salt
1 head of cauliflower (1½ to 2 lbs. before trimming)
¾ – 1 lb. russet or Yukon Gold potatoes (2-3 potatoes)
1 quart low sodium chicken stock (or water if you want this to be vegetarian)
2 C. water
1 t. white wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
¼ c. whole milk (omit if you want the soup to be vegan)
Black pepper to taste
1 medium shallot
- Cut the cauliflower head into florets discarding leaves and the thickest part of the stem. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes.
- In a large heavy bottom pot or pan (large enough to hold at least 2 quarts), heat 1 T. of the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and ginger and sauté until the onion is softened (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute more.
- Add the curry, cumin, and salt mixing well, and sauté until the mixture becomes very fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Add the chicken stock, water, and vinegar to the pot along with the cauliflower and potatoes and increase heat to medium-high to bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the soup until the potatoes and cauliflower are both very tender (15 minutes or so, a little more if the vegetables pieces are larger).
- While the vegetables are cooking, peel and thinly slice the shallot.
- Heat the remaining 1 t. of oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat and fry the shallot, stirring often, until brown and crisp (do not go far from the pan as shallots can burn very quickly).
- Using a blender or stick blender, blend the soup until it is smooth. If you prefer to have some pieces of cauliflower for texture, remove them before blending. If using a regular blender return the soup to the pot (adding back in any cauliflower you removed), stir in the milk and add a good grinding of black pepper. Taste to adjust other seasonings.
- Serve topped with crispy shallots.