Suzanne of apuginthekitchen recently posted about a coconut cauliflower soup that looked great, and so I wanted to try making it as well. With roasted cauliflower, coconut milk, and Thai red curry paste it promised great depth of flavor. As Suzanne made the recipe as published and wasn’t completely happy, I decided to make some changes. By slow roasting the cauliflower, the cauliflower becomes tender and develops more flavor before it gets too dark. Another change I made is to puree only half of the cauliflower for a more interesting texture. It turned out great. I don’t often make vegetarian recipes, but this is so full of flavor and nutritious that you don’t even realize it’s vegetarian. Here’s what I did…
For 4 generous servings
1 large cauliflower, yielding about 1.4 kg (3 lbs) of cauliflower forets
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, divided
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp fish sauce
250 ml (1 cup) coconut milk
2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
freshly ground white pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp sugar
For the stock
200 grams (7 oz) shallots, sliced
50 grams (1.8 oz) ginger, chopped
25 grams (1 oz) cilantro roots and stems, chopped
80 grams (3 oz) lemon grass, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
Combine the ingredients for the stock with 1 litre (4 cups) of water in a stock pot or pressure cooker. It is not required to peel the shallots or ginger.
Pressure cook for half an hour or bring to a boil and simmer for an hour.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve.
Meanwhile, slow roast the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F. Put the cauliflower florets in a large oven proof dish in a single layer. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of turmeric and drizzle with vegetable oil. Toss until the cauliflower is coated all over with turmeric and oil.
Roast the cauliflower for 30 minutes at 160C/325F, then take out of the oven, toss so all sides will cook evenly, and return to the oven.
Keep roasting the cauliflower and tossing every 30 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and starting to char, about 2 hours in total.
To make the soup, scoop the coconut cream from the top of the coconut milk (which will be floating on top if you did not shake it first).
Put the coconut cream in a pot.
Add a chopped onion and stir over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent, a couple of minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste.
Stir over medium heat for a minute.
Add the remaining coconut milk.
Reserve about half the roasted cauliflower and keep it warm in the oven.
Put the other half in a blender with the onion and coconut milk mixture…
…together with as much of the stock as needed to get the blender going, and blend…
…until the puree is completely smooth.
Return the puree to the pot together with the remaining stock. Season the soup with fish sauce (I used 2 tablespoons), sugar (I used 1 teaspoon)…
…lime juice (I used 1 tablespoon)…
…turmeric (I used 1/2 tsp), freshly ground white pepper, and salt.
Bring the soup almost to a boil, stirring regularly, then turn off the heat.
Serve the soup with the reserved cauliflower and garnish with cilantro leaves.