Soup Season, we are in you! That’s right, it’s finally my most favorite dinner option time again. Soup! Soup soup soup SOUP! Slurp-able, drinkable, savory, rich, broth-y soooooooup. Gimmie!
Just so’s you know – I like soup.
However, on the other hand, I did not like this soup at first upon tasting it. It was, my friends, pretty darn bland. Fortunately this is easy to fix! Let’s explore how.
Much of the original recipe’s seasonings are tossed with the cauliflower prior to roasting. And this should have been my first clue because there’s really not much seasoning after this in the rest of the recipe. One of the greatest rules of cooking: season at the beginning, the middle and the end. Of course, that may depend on what’s being cooked, but I think Emeril Lagasse said that on one of his shows one time. He’s pretty much right! If I’m remembering correctly.
Fortunately I remembered at the last minute prior to putting the cauliflower in the oven that I wanted to try some garlic in this, too. Just cut the pointed end off of one whole bulb of garlic, just enough to expose the garlic a little. Place in on some aluminum foil, sprinkle the top with salt and pepper and a small drizzle of olive oil. Fol the foil over the garlic, sealing it inside. Just place it on the pan with the cauliflower and into the oven it goes! The garlic may need about ten to fifteen minutes longer to fully roast to sweet yummy-ness.
When the cauliflower is done, it’s a beautiful golden color from the curry powder, and you really want some of those dark browned spots to add in more flavor to the soup overall.
After cooking a diced onion, the cauliflower, some butter, a bay leaf (hmm, now that I think about it, I think we forgot the bay leaf – whoops) and some water all meet up for a good time. The good time being a simmer, of course!
One way you could possible add some more flavor in this step is vegetable broth, if you’re wanting to stick to a vegetarian soup. If not, chicken broth would work as well. Next time we’ll definitely do one or the other.
Once it’s all simmered a measly 15 minutes, it’s time to puree this soup on up! Throw the roasted garlic in at this point. A word to the wise – I dunno why more recipes don’t recommend this, but let the soup cool if you plan to puree in a blender or food processor. I’ve done hot liquids in both and both times it was a hot, explosive mess. And a little hurty. If, however, you have an immersion blender (I highly rec getting one, they’re totes useful), that you can use right away. Just be sure to keep it, you know, immersed, while blending.
The last step is to add a little whole milk. I read a few cauliflower soup recipes and their reviews in addition to this one, and most seemed to dislike adding any cream or milk to the recipe, saying their was no need for it as cauliflower soup should be vegetarian, that cauliflower itself once pureed is creamy anyway and blah blah blah. Look, whatever floats your soup boat, right? It floated ours to add the milk.
So upon tasting this bowl of baby-ish-looking food, I was a little disappointed. We did salt and pepper it more at the end, and this helped, but I think it just needed that throughout the cooking. After coming back to the soup fifteen or so minutes later, it did seem to improve some in taste. It did make a really nice soup to dip naan in. This is somewhat of a soup test for hubby and I – but does it taste good as a naan dip? I think there’s room for improvement with this one, but it’s off to a good start!
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup
adapted from Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Cumin by Alice Quillet & Anna Trattles via FoodandWine.com
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: about 50-80 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 10-12
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds)—halved, cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch florets
- 1 head of garlic, top sliced off about 14 to 1/2 an inch down
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- Fresh grated Parmesan for garnishing, optional
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the cumin seeds, curry powder and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the garlic in aluminum foil, cut side up, cupping the foil around the garlic. Drizzle the top of the garlic with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil over the garlic to seal. Place on the same pan as the cauliflower. Roast for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until the cauliflower is just tender. Remove from oven but let leave the garlic on the rack and continue to roast for about another 10 to 15 minutes or until very tender.
In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted cauliflower, butter, bay leaf and water and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat until the liquid is reduced and the cauliflower is very soft, about 15 minutes. Pick out and discard the bay leaf. Put the roasted garlic in the pot.
In a blender, puree the soup in two batches until very smooth (you can also use an immersion blender). Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the milk. Rewarm it over moderate heat, adding more water for a thinner consistency, if desired. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve hot. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan if desired.
I didn’t get a noticeable taste of the curry at all when tasting this, or the cumin. Next time I may try adding more curry powder and some cumin powder to the soup as it’s simmering, as well as salt and pepper instead of waiting to salt and pepper at the end, or a little of both. The broth as opposed to water might help as well with flavor.