Please don’t get fooled by this pale white, bland looking vegetable?! Appearances are completely deceptive, as we often realise much later. With just a little patience & creativity, this mild vegetable can be transformed into a gorgeous caramelised dusky golden beauty oozing flavour & charm !
Ideal mid-week don’t-wanna-cook-too much meal when paired with a nice fresh salad or some caramelised onion & melted cheese sandwiches!
A versatile vegetable, a sort of blank canvas onto which you can paint myriad colours of your choice & it will so willingly oblige and give to you a fabulous nutty, buttery, hugely addictive flavour with minimum effort. Not to forget, it is high on vitamins, minerals and antioxidants too. All it asks for is a little bit of salt & patience in getting it perfectly caramelised.
Have it curried the Indian way with zesty tangy onion-tomato-cumin-turmeric or as a side, lemon- garlic-herb-pepper flavoured or then simply in a one -pot avatar, in a mild cheesy white sauce. The options are innumerable and equally flavoursome! Roast it whole or chopped into florets, fry it, grill it or bake it, it’s your friend for life any which way!
I love making large pots of chunky soups in monsoon & winters, cause they’re a wholesome hearty meal in itself, be it the Minestrone way with whole veggies & lentils, or an assorted vegetable thick broth/stew kind. When my elderly grandparents-in-law would visit us every winter holidays when my kids were still toddlers, I looked forward to serving them a new soup each day, enjoying their eyes lighting up to the varied flavours! As I said earlier, such a blank canvas to paint creatively.
So, today’s post is for self-love, the most undermined kind! We are all rocking, amazing people with our own unique talents & beauty, be it evident or unknown. Some are beautiful in their gregarious, full-of-life n laughter way, while some others’ in an unassuming, introverted, shy & diminutive way. Whoever you are, just remember you’re GORGEOUS & there’s no other like you! Love you!
Recipe for Pan Roasted Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6 persons)
- 1 medium size cauliflower, cut into uniform bite-size florets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups mixed vegetable or chicken stock or 2 readymade soup cubes (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons butter / 7-8 cashews made into paste for vegans
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder / grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon dried herb of your choice
- 2 tablespoons spring onion greens, finely chopped / fresh coriander leaves
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, add 2 tablespoons oil & on a high flame, sauté the cauliflower florets patiently with a sprinkle of salt until they get a good roasted brown colour & fragrance. Keep aside & reserve 4 of the prettiest roasted florets for garnish. Alternately oven roast the florets at 220C for 25-30 minutes with a generous drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper until slightly charred.
- In the same pan, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon oil & add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent i.e., 3-4minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, then add the stock (or soup cubes with 4 cups water).
- Pour in the cauliflower to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes.
- Once the veggies are soft, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender, working in 2 batches if it’s too much at one time.
- Add the butter/cashew paste and blend until smooth.
- Transfer back to the soup pot, add lemon juice and nice dash of nutmeg and stir. Check for salt & add in the black pepper powder & dried herbs. This soup tastes amazing once it’s properly salted & add more lemon juice, if it needs more zing.
- Add water to the consistency of your choice.
- Serve into individual bowls & garnish with 1 roasted floret and a sprinkle of chopped coriander or green onion.
- To make a mixed vegetable stock, boil together assorted vegetables such as ¼ bottle gourd /squash, 1 carrot, 4-5 pieces red pumpkin, 1 small potato together with some chopped garlic cloves, celery, salt & pepper powder. Cook until soft & then puree in the blender. Alternately, you can use a readymade soup cube too, but fresh is favourable!
Video for Cauliflower-Soup