In the summer, I was contacted by an editor at The Guardian who wanted to use my recipe for Sticky Boozy Chocolate Plum Pudding Cake in their 10 Best Plum Recipes article. I was very, very excited. It took a couple of months for the article to come out, and while I was waiting I’ll admit that I checked to see if it had been published yet a bit obsessively. This resulted in me looking at the 10 Best Almond Recipes that preceded the plum article over and over again. This Cauliflower Almond Turmeric Soup caught my eye every time.
In recent years, I have become a rabid fan of cauliflower. Really, in the winter it is a rare week that I do not make a cauliflower dish of some kind (Cauliflower Gratin with Horseradish and Poppy Seeds, Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart, Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Breadcrumbs, Gingery Cauliflower Soup, Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce, Cauliflower with Sumac, Cumin and Lemon, Baked Cauliflower Kofta with Creamy Tomato Sauce to name just a few favourites).
I did not care for cauliflower for the first 30-35 yeas of my life. I can only attribute this to the fact that I do not like it steamed and served plain or raw on a vegetable platter with chickpea dip. Having been raised by a health conscious and frugal mother, these were the only forms that cauliflower ever took in my early life. That said, I think that my mother would really like this simple, delicious healthful soup. Mum, just use mild oil and almond milk instead of butter and whole milk and you will like this soup. I have made only tiny changes to the recipe. I have made it with both dry and with fresh ginger and both are good. It is unclear whether the original recipe intended the reader to use fenugreek leaves or fenugreek seeds. I used seeds, but I bet leaves would be tasty as well.Really though, the star of this soup is the turmeric. My more health conscious friends tell me that turmeric is very good for you and even drink a tea made from it. I have always liked turmeric primarily because it is one of my favourite colours in the whole world. It has an earthy flavour and is ubiquitous in curry recipes across South East Asia. It was only recently, that I fully realized how important turmeric is as a flavour. I accidentally forgot to add it to a batch of Saag Paneer. I have made this Saag Paneer dozens of times and it is always wonderful, but something was wrong with this batch. By adding a mere 1/2 teaspoon of this colourful, earthy stuff and all of the flavours became harmonious! So, I am willing to trust that turmeric is magically good for you but I know from concrete experience that it has magical culinary powers.CAULIFLOWER ALMOND TURMERIC SOUP
Adapted from Leon Ingredients and Recipes by Allegra McEvedy
- 1 large cauliflower, 1 or 2 pounds
- 4 Tablespoons butter (or mild oil)
- 1 very large onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp ground fenugreek seeds
- ½ tsp ground ginger or 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
- 1/3 cup ground almonds (you can make this by processing skinned almonds in a coffee grinder)
- 4 cup vegetable stock
- 2/3 cup whole milk (unsweetened almond milk works as well)
- fresh lemon juice to taste
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- A small handful of sliced almonds, toasted or roughly chopped whole almonds for garnish
- Cut the florets off the cauliflower and chop roughly. Quarter and slice the trunk.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic, turmeric, fenugreek, ginger and sliced cauliflower stalk, and cook until the onion begins to soften. Stir in the ground almonds, making sure everything is well coated, then pour on the stock.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the cauliflower florets. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy.
- Stir in the milk, and process until smooth (I use an immersion blender). Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Top it off with some almonds and serve.
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