Thursday, January 21, 2010

Frustration/Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup

In my life there are three kinds of recipes: the ones I make on a whim; the ones I bookmark and forget about; and the ones I bookmark, look at for months, keep saying I want to make, but never do. Well, until I do, at which point I usually yell at myself for waiting so long to make something that I knew would turn out so well. That's what happened with this soup, which was so good it made me sad that I only have about six weeks left of winter, and therefore only have six weeks left to make it again. Ok, that's a lie, I am dying for winter to be over but I do wish I had made this soup earlier that way I would have had more opportunities to make it.

All of this started last week when I finally bought garam masala. Forgive me for ranting, but I hate how busy the gym/yoga is in January. For those of you whose New Year's resolution is to lose weight or work out more, good for you. Seriously, I respect it, but why is it that every January newbies start crowding the gym/yoga studio, leaving no space for nuts like me? The point is that last week when there was no space for me at the yoga studio, feeling dejected and frustrated I made my way to the kitchen supply store down the street. Although this couldn't entirely make up for my frustration, I not-so-surprisingly felt better examining dutch ovens, eyeing unnecessary kitchen gadgets, and imagining what cute little cheesecakes I could make in those mini springform pans. That's when I bought the garam masala, which has been on my shopping list since I first saw this recipe in November. After almost three months I no longer had any excuses, the soup had to be made.

Although I like cauliflower and really love sweet potatoes I would have never thought to combine the two, especially in a soup. I usually dislike cauliflower soup because I find that it lacks body and is habitually overpowered by heavy cream. That was far from the case with this soup which was almost as dense as a puree thanks to the sweet potato and just creamy enough from a can of coconut milk. The consistency was almost as ideal as the taste which shone from the richness of the garam masala and smokiness of the cumin. Despite the strong spices in the soup, the flavors of the sweet potato and cauliflower still reigned, making them taste like better versions of themselves. If this soup had turned me into a less cranky, better version of myself at the same time I would have deemed it magical. Alas, that was not the case, but it looks like frustration really can have delicious outcomes.

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup
(recipe from Christie's Corner)
Serves 6 to 8

2 tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. Garam Masala
1 tsp. ground turmeric
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
1 large cauliflower, chopped
1 can coconut milk, regular or light
fresh ground black pepper

1) Heat a Dutch oven with a heavy bottom over medium-high heat. Add the oil and saute the onions for a few minutes or until they begin to get soft.
2) Add ginger, cumin seeds, garam masala, and turmeric. Cook for 2 more minutes.
3) Add the sweet potatoes. Stir to coat. Add the stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
4) Add cauliflower and simmer covered until both the cauliflower and sweet potatoes are tender (about another 10 minutes).
5) Add the coconut milk and puree until smooth. I used an immersion blender, but you can do it with a blender in batches.
6) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

• I served the soup with toasted pumpkin seeds, which added crunch and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for some heat.
• I imagine this would also be good with some cilantro, cashews, or chili oil. Just remember that the flavors of the soup are already quite strong so don't overdo it with the garnish.


lostpastremembered said...

this looks like sunshine in a bowl... great recipe!

Cilantro said...

Great recipe. I would try with 1/2 teaspoon of garam masalasince you have mentioned the flavors are strong.

Mindi said...

Mmmmmm, I WANT that!

pb&Jargon said...

Love your blog! And this looks fabulous. Who would have through cauliflower+sweet potato=soup?

Stefi Lara said...

Soup looks so satisfying, hearty, and tasty. Pictures are beautiful miss TBD.