I got a real taste of what most of you have endured this winter.
I was in New York City most of last week and… whoa. Weather is real. The snow! The slush! A snow plow scared me half to death. They go so fast! Why did I think they operated at the speed of a zamboni? The shovel and footwear requirements are remarkable. Lastly… freezing rain is 100% unacceptable.
All of this is to say that you deserve a reward, a medal of honor, extra hot fudge on your sundae… something, everything, whatever you want you should have it.
I’m back in California nearly buried in packing boxes, but at least they’re not frozen. To honor you, I’ve made soup. It’s roasty toasty cauliflower with earthy cumin and happy curry. Totally comforting. You might consider pairing with some sort of cheesy bread situation. Also ear muffs. You’re a champion. Stay warm!
The start! Cauliflower cut into florets, olive oil, cumin seeds, curry, coarse sea salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pretty simple, right?
The oven will pull the flavors and lovingly concentrate them for our soup. It’s all about building flavors and the oven really does make a difference.
While the vegetables roast, I sautéed onions and garlic and heated the chicken broth. They all get married in a big soup pot, plus a bay leaf. Simmering softens the cauliflower further making it perfect for a puree.
After the soup is pureed, I added a splash more water to thin it out, and then stir in some yogurt. The added creaminess works well with the toasty cumin and curry. The soup is totally comforting. It feels like it comes from winter and was made to keep us (mostly you, I’m afraid) warm.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Cumin
serves 4 to 6
adapted just slightly from Food and Wine Magazine February 2014
1 large head cauliflower (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), halved, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch florets
1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds
1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and crushed red pepper flakes
1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread cauliflower florets on a large rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with cumin seeds and curry powder. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Season with a big pinch of salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Place in the oven and roast until just tender, about 25 minutes.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the last tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the roasted cauliflower to the pot along with the butter, bay leaf, and broth (or water). Simmer over medium heat until liquid has reduced some and the cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes. Pick out and discard the bay leaf.
In a blender, carefully puree the soup in two or three batches until very smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the yogurt.
Rewarm over medium heat, adding more water to create a thinner consistency if you’d like. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper for serving.
Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.