09 Oct Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup
Just as this blog has turned me into a food snob, it has also made me think more about the whole process of creating a dish. Used to be if I start out making cinnamon buns, that’s what I’d end up with. But now? I never know what will appear. I often find myself heading confidently in one direction and part way through feeling pulled toward another. Last month, my fried green tomatoes morphed into a Parmesan, and last night? A stir-fry transformed into soup.
And no. It wasn’t an attempt to salvage another kitchen disaster.
Lorraine of Copywriters’ Kitchen recently left a comment about how the No-Butter Butter Chicken was a hit with her family. This reminded me I still had some homemade garam masala twiddling its metaphorical thumbs in my cupboard. I set out to make a side dish, but the rainy autumn chill and warming aromas steered me toward soup.
Pushed me there is more like it. I felt I had no choice.
This soup is inspired by Bal Arneson’s Cauliflower with Yams from Everyday Indian (Whitecap, 2009). I substituted sweet potatoes, which are not the same as yams, used her spicing and then let the pot dictate the results. My non-tasting husband found it mild, but I wouldn’t dare to serve it to my super-taster sister. The ginger alone would kill her. Being smack-dab in the middle, I’m perfectly happy with the spicing as it is. Feel free to fiddle to suit your palate.
Am I the only one who lets the ingredients boss her about? Or have I summoned the Muse of Vegetables without knowing it?
Anyway, here’s the recipe.
Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp Garam Masala (recipe follows No-Butter Butter Chicken recipe)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
- 1 large cauliflower, chopped
- 1 can coconut milk, regular or light
- fresh ground black pepper
- Heat a Dutch oven with a heavy bottom over medium-high heat. Add the oil and saute the onions for a few minutes or until the begin to get soft.
- Add ginger, cumin seeds, garam masala, and turmeric. Cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the sweet potatoes. Stir to coat.
- Add the stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add cauliflower and simmer covered until both the cauliflower and sweet potatoes are tender (about another 10 minutes).
- Add the coconut milk and puree until smooth. I used an immersion blender, but you can do it with a blender in batches.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.