I am back in the blogosphere and back to the kitchen after a rather extended holiday hiatus. While I am not one to make resolutions, I think I naturally eat healthier post-new year. After weeks of holiday indulging, I found myself craving some good, hearty soup. I received a spankin’ new Cuisinart SmartStick immersion blender as an early birthday present, and I was eager to get it cranking. I wanted to experiment with cauliflower after last week’s White House garden Iron Chef episode. I tend to shy away from cauliflower, as I associate it with the mushy, dining hall version. But add some spices and the whir of a blender, and cauliflower becomes a velvety, creamy soup with an Indian flair.
1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium potato, cut into small cubes
1 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 quart vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
hot sauce (optional)
1 T. lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
Garnish (optional): chopped cilantro, chopped tomatoes
whole wheat pitas, cut into triangles
nonstick cooking spray
Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower, coarsely chop, and reserve. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, potato, stock, cumin, tumeric, coriander, cinnamon and hot sauce (if using) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon or lime juice and sugar. Using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small batches in a blender and return it to the pot. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro or tomatoes and serve with pita chips.
Preheat broiler or toaster oven. Arrange pita triangles on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been coated with non-stick spray. Lightly spray the triangles and sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder and a bit of salt and pepper. Broil until crispy.