Today was, overall, a very good day. It’s my day off from the gym, after working out for the past six days in a row, which means I got to come right home after work (well, after stopping at the grocery store – but that’s much easier when I don’t have to go to the gym!). I ate lots of chocolate today and didn’t feel too guilty. Because, after all, I’ve been working out a lot lately. I spoke with a new client for a catering gig and we’re both really excited about the upcoming party. And, dinner was a party in my mouth. Yup, you heard me right.
Tonight’s meal came to me through the Taste and Create event hosted by myamii over at For the Love of Food. This event pairs up bloggers randomly and asks that each person choose a dish from their partners blog to make and write about. I took this on as a bit of a challenge, hoping to discover a new blog and experience some different flavors. On most days, I have every recipe in the world at my fingertips to choose from; and even then, I can be quite picky. So having the field narrowed down could be quite the challenge.
I was paired up with Nupur of One Hot Stove. I got just what was I looking for: a blog I had not read before that was quite different from most that I frequent. Nupur’s blog showcases a unique pride of Indian food and culture blended tidbits of Western flavors (she currently lives in Missouri). After lots of clicking, I chose her recipe for Spicy Cauliflower Soup. It was one of those things that just fell right into place, because I had already bought a head of cauliflower this week without really knowing what I was going to do with it. Luckily, I had most of the other ingredients too. This soup recipe also really appealed to me for the healthiness factor; it contains no cream and just a touch of oil. It relies on delicious herbs and spices to give a hearty and satisfying flavor, so it certainly does not need extra fat! The only big change I made was that I added chickpeas to the soup. Since we were going to eat this as a main dish, I wanted to have a little more bulk and protein and I knew that chickpeas would go great with the other flavors. The small change I made was using extra coriander – I just had a little left and decided to use it all up; it may have been more like 2 or 3 teaspoons rather than the 1 teaspoon called for. But, we really loved the extra burst of flavor. Finally, if you make this soup, do not skip the lemon no matter what. It adds a wonderful tangy contrast to the other flavors and provides the perfect finish.
I served the soup with a similar accompaniment to Nupur as well: I made some parmesan flatbread out of pizza dough. It was absolutely delicious for dunking.Here is Nupur’s recipe, with my adaptations in italics.
Spicy Cauliflower Soup
(adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters, makes about 6 servings)
1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed and florets coarsely chopped
1 onion, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, peeled and cubed (I used 2)
2 T olive oil
1 t cracked roasted coriander seeds (I used extra – don’t be afraid of not measuring!)
1 t cracked roasted cumin seeds (I used ground cumin)
1/2 t turmeric
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 cups stock (I used chicken stock, 4 cups)
2 cups water (oops – I omitted by accident! But the thickness of the finished soup was perfect for me)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1. In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil and add onion, carrot, coriander, cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
2. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are very soft and the spices are toasted and fragrant.
3. Add the cilantro, chickpeas, and cauliflower florets and stir for a minute more.
4. Add stock and water, bring to a boil, and then simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender. This took me about 15 minutes or so.
5. Use a blender to partially blend the soup to a puree. (I pureed half of the soup in my food processor). If you prefer a coarser stew, just mash the florets with a wooden spoon and skip the blender. Stir in the lemon juice.