Continuing with this week's roasting theme, we're turning the oven on again. Hopefully the weather has turned and you're in full Fall mode for this one. It's been chilly and rainy in Seattle this week, and thus I've had no fewer than three different types of soups in the past three days.
To be fair, I would say the same thing in the middle of summer. Soup is a love language for me. I want it all day, every day.
This soup is magic because it's so basic and easy, but unbelievably delicious. It's a flavor bomb in soup form and I am here for it. I made it super spicy because I am me and that's what I do, but it's easy to scale back the heat with this one.
(Also, I recognize that the color of this soup is off-putting and it makes my head hurt to look at the photos. There's no way around it though - the spices + roasting add color, but they also add FLAVOR so I have to get over it. Womp womp.)
I encourage you to look at this recipe as more of a base, and switch up the spices with what you have/what you're feeling! All you really need is cauliflower, garlic (a non-negotiable for me, maybe not for you?) and some stock or broth. From there you can use whatever spices, herbs, etc. you want. Just roast it all up with the cauliflower, simmer it in the liquid for a bit and blend away! Even the coconut milk is optional (although HIGHLY suggested, especially if you do use the spices below here), as blended up cauliflower is wonderfully creamy on its own.
I hope you try this, like it and make it 100 more times this season like I will.
- 1 large head of cauliflower (2-3 lbs)
- 10-12 garlic cloves (see note below)
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (see note below)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup coconut milk (preferably full-fat from a can)
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Discard the outer leaves but you don't have to chop all the stems off - they'll get nice and tender as they cook. Toss cauliflower with oil and spices and spread out on a baking sheet. Put the garlic in a small square of foil, add a drizzle of oil and sprinkle of salt and wrap it up, nestling it in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until cauliflower starts to brown at the edges.
- A few minutes before you take the cauliflower out, pour stock and water into a large pot and set it on medium-low. Add cauliflower, garlic and bay leaf and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer everything to a blender and carefully blend until smooth (you could also use an immersion blender if you prefer). Pour soup back into pot and stir in coconut milk. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Serve right away!
If you are someone you're serving this to don't care for spicy food the way I do (whoops), either leave out the red pepper flakes entirely or scale back. You can always add some on top of the finished soup if you want to control the kick.
I prefer to roast the garlic the way I stated above, especially if I cave and buy the pre-peeled stuff at the store, because I think it roasts faster and doesn't make my hands a sticky mess. You can, of course, just roast a small whole head of garlic and squeeze it into the pot if you prefer.
As mentioned, you can use whatever spices or herbs you want in this. If you still have basil, throw that in! I did a thyme/rosemary version and it was pretty bomb. Experiment away with this one!
This soup stays well for days, and freezes beautifully.