Can I say protein? This unassuming soup delivers a heavy protein punch that will leave you feeling content, satisfied & definitely- not hungry. I would never in a million years have considered a mere bowl of soup “a full meal”. But this one totally is. While I was never a “soup person,” soup didn’t bother me, either. Growing up in a large, family setting: soup just wasn’t a meal, it was the first or second course in a big family meal where food is at the epicenter of it all. When your ancestors are immigrants to a new country, food is not just food- it becomes part of your identity. My grandparents seeked to preserve their cultural identity and celebrated who they were through food. They shared this with their children and grandchildren in hopes of carrying on & preserving our culture.
How times have changed & how I’ve learned to (1) cook (2) make soup a nourishing bowl of wholesome goodness. A few years ago… I used to buy a certain brand of soup(s) that starts with the letter C. I would sometimes go on what I believed were “soup diets,” especially during my University years; right before flying back home to see my family during the summer break or Christmas holidays. The thought of seeing them again when I had gone past the “freshman 10 pounds” and now was onto the “freshman 20-25 pounds” gave me great anxiety. So I turned to soup.
Not only were soups budget-friendly, I mistakenly thought that a melange of broths and creams would be helpful- (yeah right) as if only solids make you gain weight. My roommate at the time had a Polish boyfriend who got us both into eating canned split pea soup. And to make matters worse, parallel to my new soup habit came a bread habit. Because, what’s hot soup without crusty bread for dipping? Looking back, the reason why I never lost bloat or weight on my soup plan can be explained in two simple words: sodium & a side of bread as a filler. Canned, processed soups are for the most part, very high in sodium. And marketers where on top of this too, bringing us “25% reduced sodium” versions of the infamous “C” soups.
Why do I like to make my own soup? I can use bone marrow, I can use real organic chicken leftovers to make the stock, or make my own good quality vegetable broth. I control salt, sauces, & there’s absolutely no preservatives. And flavor-wise? Oh my God… Total soup heaven! That’s truly the best part of making your own batch. This soup started out as a cream of cauliflower but here’s the condundrum- how do you make soup creamy without the use of heavy cream? ANYONE can make soup taste good with a little heavy cream or a package of cream cheese. But to make nice, thick, creamy soup sans either of the above- that’s the challenge. The conundrum was solved thanks to my good friend, potato. Potatoes are the answer, they’re a great natural thickener and they’re also naturally gluten & dairy free… You could also thicken with coconut cream, but a few of you have mentioned you don’t enjoy the coconut taste and asked for a soup sans coconut. I read all your emails, am grateful for them, and I take your feedback to work.
And the reason why this soup tastes like the best soup you’ve ever had? Well, I roast the cauliflowers & the potatoes with a little olive oil (or coconut oil) turmeric, paprika, yellow curry, ground cumin & chili flakes (optional). Life will never be the same once you roast your cauliflower before blending it for soup-making purposes. Give this recipe a go, you can thank me later! 🙂
Curried Roasted Cauliflower, Potato & Chickpea Soup
- 1 large head cauliflower (washed & chopped into florets)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil OR coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (& another 1/2 tsp or a little extra for garnish *optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp mild yellow curry powder (for a milder curry taste, do 1/2 tbsp)
- 1 cup of cooked, canned chickpeas
- 1/2 boiled potato, mashed with a fork
- sea salt & pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp each)
- 2 tsp of coconut sugar or pure maple syrup
- 1 large onion chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 tbsp grass fed butter (or olive oil)
- 4-5 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (even water, works!) If you want it thicker, do 4 cups. For an even more liquid broth, do 5-6 cups.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F & line a large roasting tray or cookie sheet with parchment paper
- In a small skillet or sauce pan, melt the 1 tbsp of butter, & add the 1 cup of chopped onions. Stir until they become translucent or soft. Add the cumin seeds. Stir for another 2-3 mins. Toasting the seeds brings out the best flavors! Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the vinegar, coconut sugar, curry powder, turmeric, ground cumin, paprika, & olive oil. Give it a good whisk.(chili flakes optional)
- Throw the cauliflower florets into the bowl and toss/coat them well with the dressing
- Place the cauliflower florets onto the baking tray, and spread them out across a single layer. Do not stack them. You want them to roast evenly.
- Roast for about 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and with that nice yellow color from the curry powder & a nice crisp to them.
- Throw the roasted cauliflower, canned chickpeas, & boiled potato into your blender along with the 3 cups of broth or water. If you have any leftover spice mixture in the bowl you used to mix the cauliflower florets, throw it in, too. Lastly, throw the cooked onions & cumin seeds. Blend until you’ve got a nice, smooth consistency.
Notes: You can garnish this soup with fresh rosemary sprigs (like I did!) or with chives or fresh parsley. I also like to sprinkle a little smoky paprika on top, it makes look gorgeous. I also save 3-5 cauliflower florets and then throw them onto the soup once it’s plated and ready to be served. It’s nice for people to be able to see what they’re eating & it makes for a great presentation. Enjoy!!