When the temperatures start to take a nose dive and it’s finally time to dig out the sweaters, I have one thing on my mind (besides keeping warm): soup! Synonymous with warmth and comfort, no wonder it’s such a popular dish this time of year.
The best part about soup is that it’s so darn easy to make. Seriously. You throw everything into a pot, bring it to a boil, lower it to a simmer, then let it ride for anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours (depending on what you put in it).
With most soup recipes, especially those that need to simmer for a long period of time, a lid is required during cooking to prevent the liquid from evaporating (or else you’ll just have a pot of soggy vegetables). Also, you’ll notice that soup is always cooked in a pot or saucepan with high sides instead of in a sauté pan with low sides. Why? The high sides prevent some of the moisture from leaving the pot and evaporating, while pans with low sides are designed to help wick moisture away — which is why they are great for making pan sauces and reductions.
Curried Cauliflower and Apple Soup is a creamy, dreamy dish using currently abundant seasonal produce. Cauliflower is a great base for a pureed soup because, when blended, it acquires a creamed consistency; hence no cream (or the added calorie count) is needed. The Madras curry gives the recipe an Eastern twist and a pop of flavor, but feel free to omit it or change it up with your favorite curry blend.
Curried Cauliflower-Apple Soup
Makes about 4 cups
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil (substitute olive or another cooking oil)
1 small (or 1/2 large) white or yellow onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon Madras Indian curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A few sprigs fresh thyme
1 large Gala or other aromatic red apple, core removed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 small head or 1/2 large)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup canned coconut milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan or pot, heat the coconut oil over medium-low heat. When hot, add onion, ginger, thyme, and spices to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has started to soften.
Add the apple, garlic, and cauliflower to the pot, stir to combine and let sauté for about 2 minutes. Then add the broth and coconut milk, and bring to a heavy simmer or light boil. When bubbling, lower heat to a simmer, and cook, covered with a lid, until the cauliflower is very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. When the cauliflower and apple are cooked, remove pot from the heat and let it cool down for a few minutes.
When soup has cooled a bit, put it in a blender or food processor and purée it until smooth. Do this in batches if needed. If using a blender, make sure the hole in the top is open and blend the soup with a kitchen towel firmly over the hole holding down the top; this will prevent the steam from popping the top off of the blender when it’s first turned on.
Return the pureed soup to the pot, season with salt and pepper to taste, reheat if needed and serve.