Sunday, 29 January 2012

ROTW Week 4: Cauliflower Soup with Toasted Almonds

You've probably figured  this  out by now, but I have weird food leanings.  Not that I eat things that are truly weird, but that I wake up one morning and I say to myself something like:  This week, I must absolutely eat something made using quail eggs  or  a soup seasoned heavily with cumin and coriander or other very flavour-specific directions.  I often choose what we are going to have for dinner not based on what we actually have in the fridge or pantry, but based on whether I feel like tasting cilantro and avocado (and lets face it, that's often), or whether I feel like cheeeeeese, or whether I am looking for cooked protein I can squeeze lemon juice all over...

Basically, I am as multi-faceted about cooking as I am about most things, and equally as obsessive.

So randomly, I decided last week that it was time for cauliflower soup.  Because, why not?

And I don't even like cauliflower.

Here we go:  adapted from Gourmet, found on

  • 1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (3/4 cup) ( I used a giant shallot instead, because I cant stand cleaning leeks.  And also I didn't have any.)
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 (2-lb) head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
  • 1 1/4 cups 1% milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
* I also added about 2 tbs dry cooking sherry, and some ground cumin, at the end.

Wash leek slices in a bowl of cold water, agitating, then lift out and pat dry.  If you're using shallots, just slice.

Melt butter with water in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Add cauliflower and leek and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower begins to soften (do not let brown), about 5 minutes. 

Add coriander and cook, stirring, 1 minute, then add broth, milk, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and gently simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

While soup is cooking, toast almonds in a dry skillet over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 3 minutes.

Purée soup in using your method of choice (I love my immersion blender!) until very smooth. Serve soup topped with toasted almonds (additional I would recommend some fresh cracked black pepper, and very possibly some parmesan cheese.)

Serve with delicious toast, or crackers, or Tostitos Black Bean Garlic chips (which are possibly even more delicious than Tostitos Hint of Lime).

Cooks' note: Soup can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Almonds can be toasted 2 days ahead and kept separately in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat soup before serving.


  1. I had to comment on this recipe, partly because it sounds awesome but mostly because I HAVE THOSE SOUP BOWLS. and the matching tureen. and I'm obsessed.

    now, must go buy head of cauliflower.

    1. Those soup bowls may be in my top 10 of wedding gifts. I adore them. I don't have the tureen though, hmm.... :)

      Should be noted, it is a listed as a healthy recipe. SO that should count for something too.