This is an unusually spicy soup; feel free to adjust the seasoning levels to your taste. Its flavor mellows when refrigerated and reheated as leftovers. For a richer soup, make the liquid all chicken broth; for a vegetarian soup, use all water.
Serve with plain yogurt and a squeeze of lime juice, if desired.
Servings: 4 - 6
Yield: Makes 2 quarts
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into small dice
- 1 medium carrot, trimmed, peeled and cut into small dice
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped (may include stems)
- 1 to 2 heads cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
- 3 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
- 3 cups water, plus more as needed
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, crushed coriander and cumin seeds, chili powder, turmeric, crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture is soft but not yet browned. Add the cilantro, cauliflower, chicken broth and water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cauliflower is quite tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Whisk briskly to puree the soup, or use a stick immersion blender to puree as desired; add chicken broth or water as needed if the soup is too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot.
Adapted from Alice Waters's "The Art of Simple Food" (Clarkson Potter, 2007).
Tested by Mary Pat Flaherty.
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